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Presented by J'^ ' /^W^^ 0; */•/? 




$ir J. IDilUamson's IH atftematical School, 

F^OeHESTEf^. 

awarded to ^^^^ u ^o(jl 



Form ^ for /^as^n^ OL^ lu.^d^.^ J-v(:^ 



July, i88C 



IMPERIAL 



INDIA. 



Will your Grace command me any service to the 
world's end ? I will go on the slightest errand now 
to the Antipodes that you can devise to send me 
on ; I will fetch you a toothpicker now from the 
farthest inch of Asia ; bring you the length of 
Prester John's foot ; fetch you a hair off the Great 
Cham's beard, 

— Much Ado About Nothing. 



H.H. SUJJAN SING, MAHARANA OF OODEYPORK. 

Frontispiece. 



IMPERIAL INDIA 



AN ARTIST'S JOURNALS 



ILLUSTRATED BY NUMEROUS SKETCHES TAKEN AT 
THE COURTS OF THE PRINCIPAL CHIEFS 
IN INDIA. 



BY 

VAL. C. PRINSEP. A.R.A. 



SECOND EDITION, REVISED. 



LONDON : 

CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193 PICCADILLY, W. 

1879. 

[all rights reserved,! 



I 91 



TO 

THE MEMORY OF MY FATHER, 

ONE OF THOSE MEMBERS 
OF THE 

Honourable East India Company's Civil Service, 
who have made ofk indian empire 
what it is, 
I DEDICATE 

ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THIS BOOK. 

VAL. C. PRINSEP. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 
— ^ — 

Pa£>. 

II. H. SUJJAN SING, MAHAKANA OF OODEYPORK . . I-^roiliispiecc 

HER HIGHNESS SHAH JEHAN, BEGUM OF BHOI'AL 45 

THE GARDEN OF THE TAJ, WITH THE TAJ MAHAL IN THE DISTANCE . 54 

HIS HIGHNESS JAIAJI RAO, MAHARAJAH OF GWALIOK .... 65 

HIS HIGHNESS THE KANA OF DHOLEPORE 79 

TANK AT DEEG 84 

HIS HIGHNESS RAM SING, MAHARAJAH OF JEYPORE . . . . 103 

H.II. JESWANT SING, MAHARAJAH OF JODHPORE 126 

GUMMER NAUTCH, JODHPORE I42 

OODEYPORE TOWN AND CASTLE 149 

THE ISLAND OF JUGMUNDA, FROM JUGNAWAS, OODEYPORE . . . 170 

HIS HIGHNESS MANGOL SING, RAJAH OF ULWAR 1 85 

VIEW OF THE DALE LAKE, FROM THE NISIIAT BAGIl .... 228 

BEGOO, A KASHMIREE NAUTCH GIRL 228 

THE CIIOTA MEAN SAHIB, THIRD SON OF THE MAHARAJAH OF KASHMIR 234 

BAWAN 236 

H.H. HIRA SING BAHADUR, R.\JAH OF NABHA 252 

H.H. TUKAJI RAO HOLKAR, MAHARAJAH OF INDORE .... 282 

H.H. RAJHURAJ SING, MAHARAJAH OF REWAR OR BAGHEL KHAND 288 

H.H. MIR MABOOB ALI KHAN, NIZAM OF HYDERABAD .... 310 

SIR SALAR JUNG 313 

H.H. JUMNA BAE, MAHARANEE REGNANT OF BARODA .... 322 

TARA BAE, DAUGHTER OF HER HIGHNESS THE MAHARANEE JUMNA BAE 325 

H.H. SIAJI RAO, GAEKWAR (OR GUICOWAR), MAHARAJAH OF BARODA . 322 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 
INTRODUCTORY .... 

CHAPTER n. 

VOYAGE OUT — ADEN — BOMBAY TO DELHI 

CHAPTER III. 
DELHI ..... 

CHAPTER IV. 

AGRA — FUTTEHPORE SIKREE 

CHAPTER V. 

GWALIOR AND DHOLEPORE 

CHAPTER VI. 
BHURTPORE AND JEYPORE 

CHAPTER VII. 

AJMERE — ROAD TO JODHPORE 

CHAPTER VIII. 
JODHPORE ..... 

CHAPTER IX. 

JODHPORE TO OODEYPORE 

CHAPTER X. 

OODEYPORE .... 

CHAPTER XL 

CHITORE — AGRA — MUTTRA, AND ULWAR 

vii 



viii CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XII. 
LAHORE . , . . . 

CHAPTER XIII. 

RAWAL PINDEE — MURREE. 

CHAPTER XIV. 
KASHMIR— SREENUGGER . 

CHAPTER XV. 

KASHMIR— ACCHABUL — THE LIDDAR VALLEY 

CHAPTER XVI. 

ACROSS THE PIR PUNJAL . . . 

CHAPTER XVII. 

SIMLA ..... 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
HOLY BENARES .... 

CHAPTER XIX. 

DHAR — INDORE— SATNA . 

CHAPTER XX. 

BOMBAY — BANGALORE — MYSORE — MADRAS 

CHAPTER XXI. 

HYDERABAD .... 

CHAPTER XXII. 

NOWSAREE— BOMBAY 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
IMPRESSIONS .... 



APPENDIX 



IMPERIAL IN 13 I A, 



CHAPTER I. 



INTRODUCTORY. 



OWARDS the end of the month of October, 1876, I re- 



ceived, somewhat unexpectedly, a commission to paint a 
picture for the Indian Government, as a present to her Majesty 
the Queen on the occasion of the assumption of the title of Em- 
press of India. The subject was to be the Imperial Assemblage 
of Delhi. 

I had to make my arrangements at once, for I was obliged 
to leave England early in November, so that I might be sure of 
reaching Delhi before Christmas. 

Such a commission would naturally fill the mind of an artist 
with anxiety, not so much from the magnitude of the picture to 
be produced as from the vast amount of necessary memoranda 
which would have to be collected from a country artistically 
unknown. The time required for this preliminary labour was 
most uncertain, and the climate and its evil effects on the con- 
stitution of a person not inured to it were much to be dreaded. 

To many artists the latter consideration would have caused 
much apprehension, but I had the advantage of belonging to 
what is called an Indian family. India was the land of my birth, 
and, although I left Calcutta at an early age, I was still con- 
nected with Hindostan by many ties. 




1 



1 



2 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



My grandfather left his father's vicarage in Warwickshire for 
the distant East more than one hundred years ago. I have still 
by me a letter of warning to the country parson, not to send his 
boy to India, as " Clive was the very devil." Notwithstanding 
the diabolic character of the ruler of the country, the boy throve 
there ; while his father, with the seven remaining children, were 
all swept off by typhus in a few days ! 

Of the next generation no less than seven were in India at 
the same time. Of these the best known was the fifth son, James, 
to whom was erected the glidt or landing-place where travellers 
first put foot on Indian soil at Calcutta. It was James who first 
started a feeling for historical research in India. 

My father was the third son, and arrived in Calcutta in the 
year 1809. Of his career of thirty-three years' service, during 
which he occupied many important offices, rising to be Member 
of Council in India, it is not for me, his son, to speak. Returning 
home, he was quickly elected a Director of the East India Com- 
pany, and at the abolition of that Direction was elected again into 
the Indian Council, which took its place. Finally, after sixty-five 
years' service, he retired. His honoured days were spared to 
welcome my return from India ; but a fortnight after my arrival 
he fell asleep in the fulness of years, leaving for us, his children, 
and for his many friends, an example of that unselfish devotion 
to duty and unassuming ability found in many of those who have 
by their unrecognized labours made India what it is. One of the 
things most remarkable in my father was his vast knowledge of 
everything connected with the East. You might turn to him 
as to an encyclopaedia, with the certainty of receiving every 
information on any Indian subject. Persian, Hindostani, and 
Arabic were familiar languages to him ; and with the literature, 
especially that of Persia, no one was better acquainted. From my 
earliest years I have heard tales of the East, and my boyish 
imagination was excited by manj^ of these which my father 
had turned into ballads. I was also not quite ignorant of 
Indian literature, for I was intended for the Indian Civil Service, 
and, although I gave up my appointment to take to the art of 



INTRODUCTORY. 



3 



painting before I had completed my two years' residence at 
Haileybury, my studies for that service were of great use to me. 
I found, too, on my arrival in the East, my contemporaries of 
Haileybury already high up in the service, while the honour of 
the old Indian name of Prinsep was sustained by two brothers 
and several near relations. 

When, therefore, it was settled that I was to go to India, I 
was unexpectedly afforded an opportunity for realizing a hope 
that I had long cherished. But I was familiar enough with 
things Indian to be aware of the vastness of the undertaking. 
Lord Lytton's idea (conveyed in a telegram), " that I should 
be able to make all the necessary memoranda during the week 
the Assemblage was to last," was, I knew well, a delusion. I 
expected to have much travelling to perform, to have to track 
the rajah to his lair, and there "fix " him. But how many rajahs 
were to be " fixed " I did not know. I could form little idea of 
the distances I had to travel, or of the time required to cover 
those distances. In this my father could not help me, as in his 
time to travel merely from Calcutta to Delhi occupied two 
months ! I allowed, however, six months for my travels. The 
sequel will show that I was more than double that time in India. 

Meanwhile I determined to keep a journal, and it is this 
journal that I now submit with all humility to the public. I 
found the undertaking in which I had embarked was so much 
more vast than I anticipated, that I had to deny myself any 
deviations from the line of journey I was forced to take. The 
reader will therefore find no thrilling adventures of the chase, and 
but few hairbreadth 'scapes by flood and field. Where, however, 
I have come across any information about the peoples and 
countries in which I was sojourning, I have ventured to borrow 
from books such tales and descriptions as I thought would inte- 
rest the public. Especially am I indebted to Tod's " Rajasthan " 
and Pinkerton's " Voyages." The first, like most English books 
on India, is so bulky as to frighten the ordinary reader. It is 
written in the redundant style of the first part of this century, 
and contains many repetitions and much confusion. It is, how- 

1—2 



4 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



ever, the best authority on the history of the Rajpoots, and that 
history furnishes almost all that is poetical in the chronicles of 
Hindostan. In Pinkerton I found the travels of Sir T. Roe 
(a.d. i6i6) and Bernier (A.D. 1664), besides much information 
from Hamilton and Buchanan. I am also much indebted to 
Malcolm's "Central India" and Grant Duff's ''History of the 
Mahrattas," both books of high standing. 

I think much of the lamentable ignorance of India found even 
in educated circles in England comes from the forbidding aspect 
of the old authorities on Indian matters. Why are most Indian 
books ponderous quartos ? And who is bold enough to tackle the 
many, and, I fear I must say it, dry volumes of Mill's " British 
India"? Surely some readable and at the same time authori- 
tative writer might undertake the history of this empire, and 
produce something that would carry a knowledge of India to 
the homes and firesides of the mass of educated English. At 
present Indian history, up to the time of the Mutiny, seems to 
be the property of savants who devote themselves to those parts 
of history which would please the " Dryasdusts " of Mr. Carlyle, 
or philologists who content themselves with lengthy reproduc- 
tions of the vast epics of Hindoo mythology. 

In my travels I have as much as possible avoided the mention 
of things English. Through want of time I left unvisited Cawn- 
pore and Lucknow — those places hallowed in our recollection by 
the sufferings and deeds of our countrymen and countrywomen. 
I have mentioned but casually the siege operations of Del'hi, 
though the taking of that city was one of the greatest achieve- 
ments of our army. Such scenes, and the localities where they 
happened, have been described over and over again by worthier 
writers. I do not set up as an historian, and only strive to repre- 
sent in indifferent prose the picturesque things that have caught 
my eye, both in nature and history ; and surely, in dealing with 
the picturesque, one may fairly leave English history and manners 
out of sight. Neither is my journal by any means complete. I 
could have wished to pay a visit to Mandu, the ancient Moslem 
capital of Malwa, and Oojein, a still more ancient city, both of 



INTRODUCTORY. 



5 



which places were within a few miles of towns that I visited. 
Bejapore and Madura were not far from my line of route, while 
to examine the Caves of EUora Sir Salar Jung offered me every 
facility. But to see all these places I must have turned aside, and 
my work, doing it as quickly as I could, occupied double the time 
I had originally assigned to it. I have, however, seen more of 
India than almost any one man, and, moreover, seen it under the 
most favourable circumstances, and it is with the hope of con- ' 
veying some impression of what I have seen to the general , 
reader that I submit my journals to the public. / 

I have thought it better to preserve the familiar and somewhat 
idiomatic language of my original manuscript, fearing to lose in 
freshness, if I gained in style, were I to improve and polish the 
somewhat abrupt utterances of a traveller. The narrative con- 
tained in a journal must necessarily be somewhat personal ; and 
though I have as much as possible avoided personal description, 
I may unwittingly have given offence to some of my friends, 
either native or English. If I have done so, I humbly apologize, 
and beg to assure any that I may have offended that no offence 
is intended. I have received so much kindness and courtesy 
from both European and native, that my heart is full of kindly 
feeling for all things Indian ; and although I have spoken out in 
some matters, I cannot think that anything in this book can 
irritate even the most thin-skinned. 

Some stories of rajahs and their families I have inserted, as 
such stories are public property and matters of history. When a 
person is raised so much above others as is a rajah, he must ex- 
pect the full blaze of the Eastern sun to shine upon him and his 
doings. In publishing such tales as I found current I may be 
doing wrong. The very fact of giving publicity to the doings of 
the great in India is a novelty ; but to prove to a rajah that he 
and his doings are not above public criticism will perhaps cause 
some improvement in his goings on. If once native chiefs become 
convinced of this, and the light of publicity can be made to 
fall on the shades of the Zenana, a great public good will be 
achieved. I confess I have hesitated before I decided to print 



6 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



some of the tales which appear in these journals, and which may 
be thought to be in bad taste, and an evil return for kindness 
shown ; but I plead guilty only to telling the truth, which I fear 
has been too often suppressed. 

The reader will find many sketches mentioned in the journals 
which it has been found impossible to reproduce among the 
illustrations. The exigencies of the publishers have necessitated 
a selection, and this selection was somewhat a difficulty to me. I 
brought back thirty-four sketches of natives — mostly rajahs — and 
nearly fifty landscape studies. I have been limited to twenty-four 
woodcuts. I have, however, made a selection of those I think 
most interesting to the general public. 

In the great question of spelling that has agitated, and still 
agitates, the Anglo-Indian public, I have found it impossible to 
confine myself to v/hat has received official sanction. I am not 
singular in my objection to the new spelling, A high official, on 
being expostulated with for not adopting the new method, said, 
" You may do as you please, but I cannot bring myself to spell 
' tub ' with an ' a.' " I could no more force myself to spell 
Hyderabad Haidarabad, than I could pronounce Calais and 
Paris in the proper way while speaking English. I have no 
doubt I am wrong, and have already received a tacit reproof from 
my good friend the publisher, who has supplied me with a map 
wherein the names are spelt in the orthodox fashion. To enable 
those who wish to follow my route to find the places I have men- 
tioned in the map, I have supplied at the side a list of names with 
the date of my arrival, all spelt correctly. 

In conclusion, let me hope I may, from my descriptions, 
excite some who do not wish merely to kill tigers and bears, to 
stick pigs and see natitches, to follow in my footsteps. The 
Nimrods as form the mass of the unofficial travellers of India 
are no doubt the pioneers of civilization. They scale the rocky 
mountains, they traverse primaeval jungle, they even penetrate 
the heart of Africa. Heat and cold do not deter them, and 
hardships are rather an incentive. Now, I do not wish to run 
down sport, for a feeling for sport is a part of the being of an 



INTRODUCTORY. 



7 



Englishman, and has tended to develop our nation into what we 
are. Neither am I myself without the taste for slaying, as I 
know from the reluctance I experienced in having to refuse 
more than one invitation to join in pleasant sporting excursions. 
But India has many objects of more interest to the rational 
Englishman than its tigers, bears, and pigs : while Italy, Spain, 
Egypt, Syria, and even distant Babylon and Bagdad, have attrac- 
tions for intelligent tourists, it seems hard that India should 
remain unvisited. Not that I should wish our Eastern empire to 
be overrun with Mr. Cook's scamperers, whose only object seems 
to be to say that they have been in a place ; but I would wish 
the natives to see some of our great nation who are not on the 
look-out for profitable investments, or separated from ordinary 
mortals by the brand of officialism. Such intelligent travellers 
would do more to create a kindly feeling between natives and 
their rulers than any Minutes of Council or Acts of the Legisla- 
ture. 



CHAPTER II. 



VOYAGE OUT — ADEN — BOMBAY TO DELHI. 

Aden, 2()th November, 1876. 

I HAD originally intended to defer the commencement of my 
diary till my landing in Bombay, thinking that the outward 
overland journey had .been so often described from the time of 
Albert Smith, that however vivid might be my impressions, I 
should but re-echo what had been already written. One touch, 
however, of the real East, and I changed my mind. Not that 
what I have seen is very different from what I had seen de- 
scribed. But the bustle and appearance of an Egyptian bazaar, 
with its wonderful commingling and harmony of colour, the 
strange fantastic figures met each moment, the very brats in 
the streets with their sore eyes and horrid squalor, seem to impel 
me to do something as a memorial, if only to myself, and of my 
feelings. And as I have not time to make any studies in colour, I 
must essay a description in writing, even though it should be the 
veriest prose. 

Of the voyage from London to Brindisi nothing need be 
written, since even I care not to remember any of its details. 
One long journey by rail is much like another, one coupe re- 
sembles another outwardly at least, and the engineer, seeking 
always level ground, contrives to make his line as little interesting 
as possible. From Brindisi, however, things changed, for we 
passed down the coast of Greece, and even where no land is in 
sight the Mediterranean under a blue sky will, as the advertisers 
say, well repay perusal. The Albanian coast was most beautiful, 
all sorts of shades blue and purple rising from the vigorous tones 

8 



VOYAGE OUT— ADEN— BOMBAY TO DELHI. 9 



of the sea, while across the hills rolled long lines of wonderfully 
drawn clouds, through which, again, the peaks of the more dis- 
tant mountains reappeared. The whole day was an artistic 
treat, finishing with the greatest as the sun set amid the most 
delicate rose-coloured clouds. On the 2ist November there was 
a strong head wind, and the afternoon ended in rain. The heat 
during the night and day was fearful, as the ports had to be 
closed. November 22nd was again beautiful. Another wonderful 
sunset, with curious rags of purple amongst the general gold and 
crimson, and a moonset of the quarter moon "on her back," 
sinking like an enormous pig of orange into the sea. 

My fellow-passengers were not very interesting, with the 
exception of an English family going to Alexandria, of whom 
the father was most intelligent and well informed, and the 
daughter, just fresh from school, good-looking and delightfully 
naive and pleasant ; of the other voyagenrs there is not much to 
be said : there were some of all kinds. In the matter of bores — 
and there is always a bore — let me describe the one on board, if 
only to get rid of my pent-up feelings, for she now sits opposite 
to me against the golden sunset. She is exactly like that fearful 
" Marquise " in Robertson's play of Caste." There is a general 
greyness that pervades her appearance — hair, eyes, everything — 
which would suggest general negativeness, and this is made 
intolerable by her husband being an official somewhere, which 
causes her to give herself young-lady airs — ugh ! I shudder, but I 
will be ill-natured no more. The others were inoffensive. There 
was a fat man and a speckly man, and a Bohemian nobleman 
going to Egypt for consumption, and a man who was dreadfully 
ill, and whom my American declared to be a missionary, and we 
believed it so firmly that at last our parson (did I say we had a 
parson — where is there not one i*) went up to greet his fellow- 
clergyman. 

" Sir," said the other, indignantly, " I am not a clergyman ; I 
am a lawyer." 

Then there is my friend and fellow-traveller, an American of 
youthful appearance but consummate self-possession, with a 



10 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



"smile childlike and bland," but with the shrewdness of his nation. 
Then let me not forget myself: stout, large, and, I am happy to 
say, in rude health. The cabin does not suit my height, which is 
considerably beyond six feet, and the narrowness of the sleeping- 
berths makes it difficult to perch thereon my vast bulk. I fancy 
when I am in bed I must look like a large volume on a narrow 
shelf, part of it being outside ; but nevertheless here I am, like 
Mark Tapley, very jolly. 

We sighted Alexandria by midday on Thursday the 23rd, and 
as the train did not start till 7 p.m. we had time for a run on shore, 
and here I got my first impression of the East. Every one says 
Alexandria is not to be compared to Cairo. I do not know, as 
I have not seen Cairo ; but all I can say is that to one arriving 
from Europe, even Alexandria seems wonderful. The weather was 
fine, of course, and the bazaars were crowded : the noise of strange 
oaths, the very smells were fascinating and original. Two fellows 
by the custom house amused me much ; they were disputing and 
quarrelling. First they rowed each other, both speaking at once, 
then each turned to a bystander and told his case, which was 
listened to gravely ; then back they went at each other, with a 
vehemence which in England would have ended in blows, but 
here means nothing. Sometimes they would walk apart a little 
way, then come together with a rush ; and so wrangling and argu- 
ing we left them. The train started at 7 p.m., and arrived at Suez 
at 4 a.m. We seem to bring English weather with us, for we 
found a thick cold fog at Suez, so thick that we were told the 
Siam, our ship, could not possibly get out of the Canal, and that 
we should have to wait. I did not grudge the delay, for all 
around was most interesting. The Arabs had their heads wrapped 
up with white draperies, swathed in most wonderful folds. They 
did not seem to feel the cold as we Europeans did. The porter 
at the hotel, " a fine buck nigger," as my Yankee called him, told 
me his ears were cold, while on his body he had nothing but the 
thinnest cotton garment. We had on thick great-coats. Presently 
the fog cleared off ; then what an enchanting view ! All around 
rose strawberry-cream-coloured hills divinely drawn, while in the 



VOYAGE OUT— ADEN-BOMBAY TO DELHI. II 



foreground was a collection of all the tribes of Afric : tall Nubians 
in long white robes, looking like splendid statues with their faces 
newly blacked ; donkey-boys, brilliant, shrieking, jabbering, and 
offensive both to ear and nose ; Bedouins, silent and filthy, but 
most picturesque ; every sort of Egyptian official and donkey. 
I had a ride on one of these quadrupeds, and I regret to say he 
gave way beneath my weight. Happily it was only my dignity 
that suffered, but to find the donkey gradually sinking head- 
foremost, amid the jeers of my fellow-travellers, was embarrass- 
ing. And so the day passed, and at last the good ship Siam 
was seen in the distance coming through the Canal. After many 
tiresome delays, all the more tiresome from the fact that they 
could have been avoided, we finally embarked, in the midst of a 
glorious sunset — great bars of dark clouds, golden sky, and purple 
hills. Such things I have seen before in England, but never so 
vivid and so powerful as here in Suez. I have always heard this 
place described as a hole, but so far as I saw, it is one of the 
most picturesque places I ever was in. 

The voyage down the Gulf of Suez was indescribably lovely ; 
on either side stretched the same wonderfully coloured hills we 
saw at Suez, fading into a sky of warm blue, but so faint and 
delicate in colour that the one seemed to melt into the other, the 
tops only being faintly and beautifully drawn by delicious lilac 
shadows. Indeed, when you half shut your eyes, the whole 
seemed of the same tone, with here and there a stronger spot. 
The Arabian hills were most fantastic in their forms, being cut 
and scarred all over, with lines of sand right up the sides. The 
Egyptian mountains were more in peaks. 

You will no doubt think me too general in my admiration. No 
doubt everything I have seen I have admired : there is, however 
a reverse to the medal. One's cabin, with port closed and the 
thermometer at i io° is simply awful. We have been experiencing 
the delight of a strong head wind, which has delayed us some- 
what ; but Perim is passed, and Aden will be reached to-night, 
and then I shall ship home this scrawl, which has been written 
under considerable difficulties on deck and in the said wind. I 



12 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



cannot stand the cabin, and would rather my writing should 
suffer, than that I should be put to the discomfort of writing in 
Purgatory, or worse. 

The lower part of the Red Sea is not to be compared to the 
upper part. I am getting out my paint-box to have a try at 
Aden, if we only arrive in time. 

It was rather droll at first to see how the Southampton pas- 
sengers, who were of course quite at home on board .when we 
arrived, kept aloof from the Brindisi passengers, and what little 
jealousies have sprung up about chairs and places at table. We 
are, however, now on speaking terms, and getting sociable. 

There are of course quantities of children on board. The hot 
weather makes them very cross, and sleeping on deck and other 
discomforts try the tempers even of the ladies. Nevertheless we 
have got on very well, though my Yankee says it is very different 
from the ocean steamers, where " tears round " seem to be the 
order of the day. "This," said he, "is the slowest place on God's 
footstool ! " The Red Sea produces a kind of languor, which 
prevents much fun, and also easily reconciles one to idleness 
generally. I have done absolutely nothing but loaf. Let us 
hope I have been laying in ideas ! 

Bombay y loik December y 1876. 
Aden, which has the reputation of being the most detestable of 
holes, is quite delightful by moonlight, as I saw it. Nevertheless, 
there is a smell of hot dusty heat which would lead one to suppose 
that, on further acquaintance, it would not belie its reputation. On 
arrival the ship was surrounded by crowds of native boats, manned 
by creatures who looked like the supers in a pantomime. They had 
long white rags hanging from nowhere in particular, long frizzled 
hair, and black forms. Their hair was dyed all kinds of colours, 
and the movements of their attenuated limbs were so weird and 
uncanny that one rather felt as though one had entered a kind of 
Pandemonium, to which indeed the Red Sea forms a fitting 
channel. It being night, nothing much of Aden was to be seen. 
I did not go to the celebrated tanks or see the lions generally, 



VOYAGE OUT— ADEN—BOMBAY TO DELHI. 1 3 



thinking I would wait till daylight and my next visit to do them 
justice. Before daybreak we cleared out, and by the time I got 
to deck, half-past six, Aden was in the blue distance. 

Our week across the Indian Ocean was a great success. The 
weather was simply perfect, only slightly too warm. We reclined 
on the deck, and " do-nothingism " was the order of the day. 
There was much spooning among the passengers from South- 
ampton, so that there was many an aching heart by the time we 
reached Bombay. One of the officers (No. 5) said he had never 
felt so before, and, poor boy ! sought his consolation in brandy 
and water. As usual I was the general confidant, and to keep 
up my character for discretion I will write no more. We reached 
Bombay on Wednesday, 5th December. 

Anybody who has made a journey will remember with a shudder 
the rush of strange forms, faces, and figures in a strange land ; 
the jabber of unknown tongues, the banging of boxes, the good 
byes to fellow-travellers, &c., &c. But of all noisy places commend 
me to Bombay. There are two bunders or landing-places some 
four miles apart by land, both equally noisy and objectionable. 

The only thing that relieved the monotony of this Babel was the 
shooting by accident of one of the passengers — the man we called 
the missionary, whom I think I mentioned before. The poor 
fellow cannot have a very brilliant souvenir of Bombay. He is 
an Australian, and last year travelled with his wife and two 
daughters through India. On arriving in Bombay they all felt 
unwell, sent for the doctor, and were told they had the small- 
pox. One of the girls died, and the two old people were fright- 
fully marked, the lady losing one of her eyes. Well, they come 
back to Bombay to put up a tombstone to their dead daughter, 
and, at the very first moment of arrival, the man gets shot through 
the calf by the awkwardness of a custom-house officer. Truly, 
some people are not so lucky as others ! 

My friend Melvill sent to meet me, and after much squabbling 
and row, his peons got me and my luggage through the custom 
house. What a sight the bazaars of Bombay present to the 
artistic eye ! All sorts of Indian forms, from black to white ; 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



all sorts of dresses, from nothing at all to tinsel and kincaub ; 
colours of the most entrancing originality, and forms of the 
wildest beauty. Every day since my arrival have I been wander- 
ing through these streets, and yet I feel quite dazed and have 
done absolutely nothing. The infinite variety and " rummyness " 
of the whole thing quite unhinges one. I trust, however, to come 
round before long. 

The hospitality of an Indian bungalow is proverbial. This house 
of Melvill's is one of the best in Bombay. It faces the sea, and 
has the usual verandah, open to all the winds that blow, only 
about double the depth of the ordinary verandah. Here we all 
sit and live, only feeding within doors. There are five other people 
besides myself stopping in the house, and it is pleasant enough. 
Life here, however, is much too like the country-house life of 
England ; it is very pleasant, but not conducive to work, and so 
I have made up my mind to rough it in the travellers' bunga- 
low for the future. I had rather be a traveller in the bungalow 
of the friendless than live in the house of the civilian. The fact is 
that people are so intensely polite and hospitable, that you never 
have a chance of seeing the Indian at home. And to see him 
I have come, so I must give up comfort and prawn curries, and 
travel with a rezai and pillov/. This morning, Sunday, I have 
been out to see Walkeshwar, where there is an old temple with 
a tank, of which I hope to make a sketch before I leave. We 
passed also the Governor's house at Malabar Point, and saw in 
the distance the Towers of Silence. Here the dead Parsees are 
taken by their weeping relations. At the door of the tower the 
priests receive the body, and it is placed on a grating over a large 
pit in the tower, which is open to the sky. The head priest then 
gives a cut with a kind of hook at the clothes, shuts the iron door 
with a bang, and in two hours the bones are picked clean by the 
vultures. No one but the priest is allowed in the tower, and 
strangers are not permitted to approach. I confess the whole 
thing fascinates me much, and I should when dead like to be so 
picked myself, feeling that I should at least be doing some 
creature some good after death. 



VOYAGE OUT- ADEAr -BOMBAY TO DELHI. 1 5 



A very enjoyable life this of loafing. To-day is Sunday; crows 
caw and pick about. A pedlar is exposing his goods. A general 
drowsy feeling is coming on me, for it is hot. I kick the pedlar 
out, resign myself to my fate, and sleep to dream of home. 

On Tuesday, I2th December, I first opened my paint-box. I 
started at half-past six to Walkeshwar to make a study of the 
sacred tank. 

Among the things that most strike a stranger in this warm 
climate are the glorious sunrises. Perhaps this comes from the 
fact of our rarely seeing the sun rise in England, partly through 
laziness, and partly from the sun so seldom having fair play in 
our damp climate. Here one is always up at sunrise, and each 
morning Aurora appears flushed and ruddy, preparing the way 
for the Sun God. Alas ! she hurries too quickly by, and then 
comes the red and angry sun. Up he starts, impatient to assert 
his supremacy over all. No tenderness here. The gold of the 
heavenly alchemist is alloyed with copper. But there it is each 
morning, and surely the blessings and thanks of the artist are 
due to old Phoebus for a constancy unknown in our country. 
Such a sunrise awaited me at Walkeshwar, a most picturesque 
place, and one to which more time ought to have been given. 

A piLttewallaJi, or "belt-bearer," of the High Court, lent by 
Melvill, took my things down to the steps, and was of great use 
to keep off the crowd of young Brahmins ; but I had no sooner 
begun than the local policeman, with many salaams, intimated 
to me that I must not stop there, and a learned Brahmin, more 
or less nude, who happily spoke English, told me that Christians 
were not allowed near the water. " Religious prejudice," said 
he. It was a case of " friend, go up higher," and I had to go. 
Imagine steps cut down to the tank, with temples all round. On 
the brink of the water, which is bright green, are crowds of 
devotees: some are shouting what I conjecture to be their morn- 
ing prayers, some are washing their clothes, some their black 
persons, others are taking a swim. A pleasant hum of voices, 
a wonderful mingling of form and colour, and the sun striking 
obliquely across, making long shadows. Surely a place for an 



i6 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



artist to linger. But, no ; I must be back to hazree (breakfast) 
to bid adieu to my kind hosts ; so I have only time to make a 
hasty dab, and leave just as it is becoming hot. 

Bombay people are rather proud of their climate. During the 
four days I was there it was delightfully warm ; yet this is the cold 
weather. I shall probably have further experience of Bombay 
and its climate, as I must pass through it in going from Hindostan 
to the Deccan. The first term is properly applied to the broad 
part of the leg-of-mutton-shaped peninsula we call India, while 
the Deccan is the narrowing scrag, comprising Hyderabad and 
the neighbouring states. 

Bombay is, as everybody knows, the first foothold we acquired 
in India, and formed part of the marriage portion Charles II. 
received with Catherine of Braganza. Hamilton, who lived and 
travelled in these seas, A.D. 1688 to 1723, thus gives a description 
of the taking possession: "After the marriage. King Charles 
sent my Lord Malberry with four or five ships to take possession 
of it (Bombay) ; and the King of Portugal sent a Viceroy to 
deliver it and all its royalties to the said lord, and Sir Abraham 
Shipman was ordered to be Governor for King Charles. They 
arrived at Bombay, 1663 ; but the Church withstood the Crown, 
nor would they acknowledge the Viceroy unless he would come 
into their measures, which, rather than lose his new dignity, he 
did, and in January, 1664, my lord went back to England, carry- 
ing two ships with him, and left Sir Abraham with the rest to 
pass the westerly monsoon in some port on the coast ; but being 
unacquainted, chose a desolate island called Aujadiva to winter 
at. The island is barren, but has some springs of good water. 
Here they stayed from April to October, in which time they 
buried above two hundred of their men ! * 

"When the monsoons were over the squadron put to sea, and 
put into Bombay to try if the Church had considered on the 
obedience due to the King of Portugal's orders. ... At length 

* The occupation of Cyprus rather recalls this waste of life. As history- 
repeats itself, may the occupation of Cyprus lead to as great results as that 
of Bombay ! 



VOYAGE OUT— ADEN-BOMBAY TO DELHI. \J 



their holy zeal abated, and they were content to admit of a treaty. 
But before the treaty was concluded Sir Abraham died, and one 
Mr. Humphrey Cook, who was next in commission, continued 
the treaty, and articled that the inhabitants should enjoy their 
lands and religion under the King of England, but forgot to 
insert the royalties appending on Bombay, which reached as far 
as Vessera, in Salset, which omission has been a bone of conten- 
tion to both parties ever since." 

To this Mr. Humphrey Cook Bombay owes its fort, which now 
is not much used for military purposes, but contains all the large 
warehouses and shops of the city. 

Our luck in India has been wonderful. We began with blunders 
and bad management enough ! Here in Bombay there was a 
certain Sir John Child, who was as great a tyrant as Aurungzebe 
himself He was succeeded by a certain Mr. Vaux, who had 
originally been sent out as supercargo of a vessel by Sir Josiah 
Child. On his finally being appointed a Judge, he wrote to Sir 
Josiah, who I suppose was omnipotent in the East Indian Com- 
pany, to say " that he would acquit himself with all the integrity 
and justice he was capable of, and that the laws of his country 
should be the rule he designed to walk by." In answer. Sir Josiah 
" wrote roundly to Mr. Vaux that he expected his orders were to 
be his rules, and not the laws of England, which were a heap of 
nonsense compiled by a few ignorant country gentlemen that 
hardly knew how to make laws for the good government of their 
own private families, much less for the regulating of companies 
and foreign commerce ! " 

Thus was justice administered at first, when bribery and cor- 
ruption, extortion and tyranny were common enough. Sickness 
and disease were rife. " Of seven or eight hundred English that 
inhabited Bombay before the war, there were not sixty left by 
the sword and plague ; and Bombay, that was one of the plea- 
santest places in India, was brought to be one of the most dismal 
deserts." Yet fate and the genius of one or two men like Clive 
have overcome all obstacles, and from the time when Lord 
Malberry was refused Bombay, we have steadily advanced till 

2 



i8 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



our empire exceeds by a great deal that of Auriingzebe, who 
wrote to Sir John Child: "At the arrival of my phirmaund 
(firman), receive it with great respect, acknowledging the great 
glory you have in receiving the same." 

The train started at nightfall, so we missed seeing the famous 
ghats. We were quickly made aware by the change of temperature 
that we were rising to a higher level ; a couple of hours in the rail 
brings you to the cold, and we were glad of rezais, rugs, and coats 
the very first night out of Bombay. We intended stopping at 
Jubbulpore (twenty-eight hours from starting), but once in the 
train I determined to push on for Delhi. It was a happy idea, I 
found afterwards. The country crossed, with the exception of an 
hour or two while the train is passing the Nagpore Hills, is flat in 
the extreme ; and all the way from Khundwa to Delhi it is most 
of it like a billiard-table. I like the long plain, seemingly with- 
out limit, studded with mud-walled villages and tufts of trees. 
Here and there we passed herds of cattle and buffaloes, and many 
times we flushed troops of antelopes, which went bounding through 
the country. Blue jays, storks, and cranes we saw in abundance, 
and flights of green paroquets, and even monkeys. On we steam 
past Jubbulpore to Allahabad, where we arrive four hours late, 
at 9 on Thursday, the 14th December, and where, by a stupid 
arrangement of trains, we are forced to wait twelve hours. I did 
not regret it. What I saw of Allahabad was most picturesque, 
and yet I only saw a part of the bazaar, as I drove down to 
the sacred Jumna, first of the Indian rivers I had seen. The 
shops are small and low, and arched over with Moorish arches, 
with many ornaments done in plaster, of most artistic design. 
Allahabad must be seen again, I inwardly determine. At 9 p.m. 
Thursday we continue our journey, and arrive at Delhi, four 
hours late again, at 7.30 p.m. Friday. At the station, Allahabad, 
we have our first taste of the Indian rajah. While we are wait- 
ing for the train, suddenly hoarse cries echo through the station, 
torches gleam and redden, chowries flash, and behold the Maha- 
rajah of Rewah! A stout, burly man is Rewah, painted bright 
red, for all the ruling family are afflicted with a skin disease. 



VOYAGE OUT— ADEN— BOMBAY TO DELHI. 



19 



He is carried aloft on the shoulders of his bearers, in a silver 
throne with wonderful green velvet lining and cushions. As he 
moves along, he sucks the mouthpiece of a hookah carried by an 
attendant, while other servants brush away imaginary flies with 
silver-headed chowries. Before him are certain loud-voiced re- 
tainers, who shout his titles ; around are a ragged lot of nobles 
(I suppose), armed with every sort of weapon used in war or chase. 
One man proudly shoulders an enormous elephant-gun ; some 
have spears, most tulwars with silver hilts. Rewah has come to 
meet Holkar at the railway. Our train is shunted, for the Maha- 
rajah is due. Presently Holkar arrives, and the place is filled with 
swarms of the oddest-looking fellows imaginable. Holkar then 
appears, led by the hand of some official. He is in white, with a 
white turban, and a magnificent string of emeralds is his only 
ornament. Rewah, on the contrary, is all gold and green, and 
has his red face tied up in a kind of gold pocket-handkerchief, 
to keep his whiskers up, for they should bristle upwards like a 
tiger's. The rajahs meet and embrace, and probably say that 
each is dearer to the other than his stomach, which is the dearest 
portion of a native's body. Each is then borne off to his own 
camp, and gradually, amid yells and flashing torches, the crowd 
also scatters. Palanquins come for the women, orange stuffs are 
spread from the railway-carriages to the palkis (some of which are 
of silver), and, unseen by the eye of man, the ladies slip in and 
are carried after their lords and masters. Off we go ourselves 
at last, across plain and river, till in the evening we reach Delhi. 



CHAPTER III. 



DELHI. 

I HAD telegraphed from Allahabad to Colonel Davies, the 
Commissioner of Delhi, to whom I was to report myself, to 
ask what I was to do on arrival ; and he most kindly sent a 
chiiprassee (which is the north-country word for piUtewallah^ 
mentioned before) to the railway, with a letter asking me to come 
to stay with him. So here I am at Ludlow Castle, Delhi ! 

The Colonel and his wife are charming hosts. Everything here 
is the camp and of the camp : I have seen and heard of nothing 
else. It is situated beyond the celebrated ridge held by our 
troops during the siege, and even yet in the midst of the camp 
are the ruins of bungalows destroyed by the war, asserting our 
empire more surely than all the preparations for the proclama- 
tion. 

Far away on the plain are the encampments of the different 
rajahs. Never has there been such a gathering before. Mrs. 
Davies kindly drove me through the camp on the morning of 
Saturday, and in the afternoon I went up on my own account. 
This morning I have been up again, and went on to the place of 
assembly. Oh, horror ! what have I to paint } A kind of thing 
that outdoes the Crystal Palace in "hideosity." It has been 
designed by an engineer, and is all iron, gold, red, blue, and 
white. The dais for the chiefs is 200 yards across, and the Vice- 
roy's dais is right in the middle, and is a kind of scarlet temple 
80 feet high. Never was there such Brummagem ornament, 
or more atrocious taste. Everything is designed by the Royal 

20 



DELHI. 



21 



Engineers, and you may fancy what they have done. In another 
hundred years, unless we can arrest their hands, there will not 
be a good thing in India. They have nothing to do but to employ 
themselves on Government works, and having no artistic training 
nor an atom of taste, they spoil everything. But of this more 
anon in my report on the Art of India. 

I shall move up to camp to-morrow, and have had a tent 
pitched next to my brother's. He is Deputy-Assistant-Quarter- 
mastcr-General, and has a certain number of rajahs to look after. 
I am to have a shamidna to paint in, and shall be as comfortable 
as possible, no doubt. 

TJie Caiiip^ Delhi. 

I moved up from the Commissioner's on Monday, and here 
I am, getting quite comfortable. I am in a private camp of my 
brother's, a little off the road, which is fortunate, for the dust is 
awful, and the soil absorbs moisture so fast that watering is of 
hardly any use. In some camps they lay down rushes to keep 
the dust down. It is not sand, but red clay, and penetrates 
everywhere. The camp itself is a surprising piece of tent-pitch- 
ing. Tents of all kinds, from the noble tents of the Viceroy 
and other swells, with broad shamidnaSy or canvas houses with 
flat roofs held up by poles like the columns of a temple, to 
every kind of lean-to, inhabited by inahotits and servants. You 
hear the natives all night long coughing, and their teeth rattling 
with cold. Poor devils ! The frost lies on the ground every 
morning. Even I in a double tent have to muster up all my 
courage to get out of bed at 6 a.m. " The owl (or kite), for all 
his feathers, is a-cold." The cold does not last, however, and at 
nine it is quite hot. 

Everything is wonderfully fascinating for an artist here. Irre- 
gular troopers with wonderful pugrees, fellows on camels with 
bright trappings, elephants, vultures, coolies, — all sorts of wild 
odd-looking beasts. Strange noises too : guns, bands, shrieks, 
cries, yells, — everything to excite the imagination, and this, too, 
morning, noon, and night. There is a camp of elephants near 



22 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



us, and these enormous beasts are continually giving forth the 
most ridiculous squeaks. It is odd that so majestic a quadruped 
should be so ridiculous at times. I have been out drawing them 
and the operation is worse than painting a child, as, notwith- 
standing their bulk, they are never for a moment quiet. 

To-day we are to have a rehearsal of the viceregal processions 
and elephants " galore." 

Of Delhi itself I have now seen something. The Jumma Mus- 
jid, or Mohammedan cathedral, has frequently been described; 
but no one in writing can convey the impressions it produces on 
the artistic mind. I say this advisedly, for the Anglo-Indian 
goes by general report, and never troubles himself with artistic 
impressions, nor does he see the beauties close under his Anglo- 
Indian nose. I am sore on the subject, and naturally so. Here 
these people could have chosen the front of the Jumma Musjid, 
about forty steps rising to a magnificent plateau, which over- 
looks a wide maiddn or plain, backed by the ancient fort con- 
taining the palace of the old Mogul Emperors. From this position 
the Viceroy could indeed declare the commencement of the new 

Raj " ! But the Anglo-Indian has chosen a bare plain, and 
builds his Brummagen dais with no surroundings or any historical 
associations. Well, perhaps it is a type of the new Raj — this(dai*s/ 
— cold, new, flaunting, and bare, without a rag of sentiment or 
beauty ; but let us hope the Raj will prove stronger than that 
abominable erection, which nearly fell down the other day. But 
to return to the Musjid. Ascending by broad steps— of which 
there are three flights, one in front and one on each side — one 
climbs to the inside courtyard, rising high above bazaar and 
crowd, and open to the blue heaven above, as though lifted from 
the earth and things earthly. The architecture is not so fine, or 
rather, not of so fine a period, as (I am told) the Taj.* Yet the 
dirty red is just the colour to relieve against the sky, and the 
warm white of the marbles let in gives wonderful variety. I did 
not go into the mosque proper, which occupies one side of the 

* Having seen the Taj, I venture to differ from the general opinion in this 
matter. 



DELHI. 



23 



square, for people were praying. I saw it was only a shallow 
building, while the square is 150 yards across. The mosque 
proper is open to the air, of course, and the altar is a wonderful 
kind of mother-of-pearl colour. It is only alabaster, but this 
effect is produced by the friction of human bodies and the fall 
of the light. The people standing in rows before this were some- 
thing to see. 

I feel in writing home that my continual gush will perhaps 
bore. I write, however, my own impressions as an artist, and I 
wish rather to dwell on these things than to mention the horrors 
my countrymen have stuck up. Everything fine that I have seen 
has been so " rummy " and bizarre^ and unlike anything else, — a 
continual surprise, in fact. Yet all this sense of beauty is to be 
found in this people even now ; and we have left it unacknow- 
ledged, to almost die out. I know it exists, for the other day in a 
poky little lane out of the Chandnee Choke, or principal street, 
attracted by a fine door, I looked into an Indian house, and 
beheld a kind of small taj\ all white marble, worked and carved 
into all kinds of traceries, and really fine; yet this has been done 
within the last forty years. 

From the Jumma Musjid was preached the holy war against 
the English ; and the sanctity of the mosque was so great, that 
after the Mutiny many were for entirely destroying it, as a 
warning. Happily Lord Lawrence was wise enough not to give 
way to the clamour of the many, and the advice of some high up 
in the service. The mosque was, however, used as a storehouse 
for years ; and even now, though we have restored it to the 
Mohammedans, the great bronze central gate is never allowed 
to be opened, except by permission. The fort and all its beauties 
I must leave till next post. 

20th December. 

I left off without giving an account of the fort here. Seen 
from the Jumma Musjid, it presents a long red line of building, 
relieved at intervals by small cupolas ; you see two gates also 
" becupola'd," and, in addition, a small row of tiny cupolas im- 



24 IMPERIAL INDIA. 

mediately above the gate proper. The red is not the red of 
brick, but a kind of hard red sandstone almost like marble, and a 
particularly happy colour. Through one of these gates we drove 
along a covered road of some length, where were formerly the 
bazaars of the palace, for the Moguls had not only all kinds 
of shops here, but every kind of workmen and of every trade, 
employed in large halls, each trade in one, according to Bernier, 
viz. : " Embroiderers, goldsmiths, picture drawers, workmen in 
lacca, joiners, tailors, shoemakers, workmen in silk and purpled 
gold, and in all kinds of those cloths of which they make 
turbans, girdles with golden flowers, and those drawers for ladies 
that are so fine and delicate as that sometimes they last but one 
night, though they cost them ten or twelve crowns." 

Of all this nought remains, and the traveller only finds a kind 
of howling desert of barracks, hideous, British, and pretentious. 
Suddenly we come to a row of marble buildings containing the 
Dewan - i - Khas, the bath, and the Mooti, or Pearl, Musjid. 
The Dewan-i-Khas is the most beautiful building I have yet 
seen. All the inside, ceiling and all, is covered with a beautiful 
raised pattern, seemingly lacquered over gold ; the lower panels 
are inlaid with wonderful semi-geometric renderings of flowers, 
mostly lilies and pinks. The bath at the left side looking 
towards the river is also inlaid, while on the right is a small suite 
of rooms quite covered with patterns painted. There are a few 
restorations in awful colours, made for the ball given here to the 
Prince of Wales, and, alas ! many mutilations. The hand of 
time, however, has passed lightly over this beautiful work, and 
left it a perfect delight to the eye. The back of the building 
looks over what was once the bed of the river Jumna, and is 
still so when the rains are on. It must indeed be delicious on a 
hot day to sit in these rooms rising from the mighty river, with 
the noise of water to soothe one's dreams. 

The Mooti Musjid forms part of these buildings, and is, as its 
name indicates, a small mosque of white marble, chaste and 
rather cold in style after the magnificence of the Dewan-i-Khas. 
In this Dewan-i-Khas the Mogul held his evening assemblies 



DELHI. 



25 



which sometimes ended in an orgie. There, however, much 
business was transacted. 

The Dewan-i-Am, which was the place of pubHc audience, 
formed originally a part of a large square, which has now been 
demolished, and only the dewan left. This is a stately portico, 
in the centre of which there is a raised kind of balcony, on which 
was placed the " peacock " throne, where, according to Bernier, 
the King appears seated, having his sons by his side, and some 
eunuchs standing, some of which drive away flies with peacocks' 
tails ; others fan him with great fans, others standing there ready 
with great respect and humility for several services. Thence he 
seeth beneath him all the omrahs, rajahs, and ambassadors, who 
are also all of them standing upon a raised ground, encompassed 
with silver rails, with their eyes downwards and their hands 
crossing their stomachs. Somewhat farther off he seeth the man- 
subdars or lesser omrahs, which are also standing in the same 
posture and respect as the omrahs do ; and farther off in the re- 
maining part of the hall, and in the court, he seeth a great crowd 
of all sorts of people, for there it is where the King every day 
about noon giveth a general audience to all, which is the reason 
this great hall is called Am Khas, — that is, place of audience." 

Here is a description of "the King" on his throne, that will form 
a contrast to the ceremony I am going to paint. " His vest was 
of white * sattin,' flowered, and raised with very fine embroidery 
of silk and gold. His turban was of gold, having a fowl wrought 
upon it like an heron, whose foot was covered with diamonds of 
extraordinary bigness and price, with a great ornamental topaz, 
which may be said to be matchless, shining like a little sun. A 
collar of big pearls hung about his neck down to his stomach, 
after the manner some heathens wear here their large beads. 
His throne was supported by six high pillars or feet, said to be of 
massy gold, and set with rubies, diamonds, and emeralds. I am 
not able to tell you aright neither the number nor the price of 
this heap of precious stones, because it is not permitted to come 
near enough to count them and to judge of their water and 
purity. Only this I can say, that the big diamonds are there in 



26 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



confusion, and that the throne is estimated to be worth four kou- 
roiLVs (crores) of rupees (equal to ^4,000,000), if I remember well. 
Shah Jehan, the father of Aurung-zebe, is said to have caused it 
to be made to show so many precious stones as successively had 
been amassed in the treasury of the spoils of those ancient patans 
and rajahs, and of the presents which the omrahs are obliged to 
make yearly on certain festivals. The art and workmanship of 
this throne are not equal to the matter ; that which I find upon 
it best devised are two peacocks covered with precious stones and 
pearls, which are the work of a Frenchman that was an admi- 
rable workman, and after having circumvented many princes with 
his doublets, which he knew how to make admirably well, fled 
into this Court, where he made his fortune. 

"Beneath this throne there appeared all the omrahs in splendid 
apparel upon a raised ground covered with a great canopy of 
purfled gold, with great golden fringes. The pillars of the hall 
were hung with tapestries of purfled gold, having the ground of 
gold, and for the roof of the hall there was nothing but great 
canopies of flowered sattin, fastened with red silken cords that had 
big tufts of silk mixed with threads of gold hanging on them. 
Below there was nothing to be seen but great silken tapestries, 
very rich, of an extraordinary length and breadth. In the court 
was set a certain tent they call the aspek^ as long and as large as 
the hall and more. It was joined to the hall by the upper part, 
and reached almost as far as the middle of the court : meantime 
it was all enclosed by a great balutre covered with plates of 
silver. It was supported by three pillars of the thickness and 
height of a barge mast, and by some lesser ones, and they were 
all covered with plates of silver. It was red, without a line, with 
those fine chites, or cloth painted with the pencil of Maslipatam, 
purposely wrought and contrived with such vivid colours and 
flowers, so naturally drawn, of a hundred several fashions and 
shapes, that one would have said it was a hanging parterre." 

This, too, was Aurungzebe, the most bigoted of the Mogul 
kings. Sir T. Roe, who visited as Ambassador the Court of 
Jehanghire, thus describes a day of the " Great Mogul." 



DELHI, 



27 



"The Mogul every morning shows himself to the common 
people, at a window that looks on to the plain. At noon he is 
there again, to see elephants and wild beasts fight, the men of 
rank being under him within a rail. Hence he retires to sleep 
among his women. At noon he comes to the durbar. After 
supper at eight o'clock he comes to the Guzalchan, a fair court 
in the midst whereof is a throne of freestone, on which he sits, 
or sometimes below on a chair, where none are admitted but of 
the first quality, and few of them without leave. Here he dis- 
courses of indifferent things very affably. No business of the 
state is done anywhere but at one of these two last places, where 
it is publicly convened and so registered ; which register might 
be seen for two shillings ; and the common people know as much 
as the council ; so that every day the King's resolutions are the 
public news, and exposed to the censure of every scoundrel. 

" This method is never altered, unless sickness or drink obstruct 
it ; and this must be known, for if he is unseen one day, without 
reason assigned, the people would mutiny ; and for two days no 
excuse will serve, but the doors must be opened and some 
admitted to see him, to satisfy others. On Tuesday he sits in 
judgment at the Jarruco, and hears the meanest persons' com- 
plaints, examines both parties, and often sees execution done by 
his elephants." So strict is this custom of showing the person of 
the sovereign, at least once a day, that Aurungzebe, when sick 
" nigh unto death" of a fever, showed himself everyday, and "what 
is almost incredible, the thirteenth day after he had re-collected 
himself from a fit of swooning, he called for two or three of the 
greatest omrahs and the Raja Jesseyne (Jey Sing), to let them 
see that he was alive, made himself to be raised in bed, called 
for ink and paper to write to Et-bar-Khan." 

Nowadays, if a petition has to reach head-quarters, it must go 
through the district officer to the commissioner, through him to 
the secretary's secretary, then to the secretary, and so through a 
member of council to the viceroy. Yet in the end I fancy the 
petitioner is likely to receive more justice than he did in the old 
time, when he appealed directly " to Csesar." 



28 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



I have bought some rather handsome gold work here, and keep 
my eyes well open for all kinds of " finds." The native, however, 
is very suspicious, and all my inquiries are unavailing to find out 
the names of the men who have done the good work here. I 
have talked to several persons in authority, and more to their 
wives, on my project of reforming the arts of India, and find 
many of them agree with me ; but of this more anon. 

I The entry of the Viceroy took place on the 23rd December. 
A truly magnificent spectacle it was, not so much from the pro- 
cession of the Viceroy himself, as from native surroundings. I 
saw it from the Jumma Musjid, sitting between the Ambassador 
from Siam, who had on a kind of Quaker's hat, and was accom- 
panied by his wife and granddaughter, and the envoy from 
Kashgar, a magnificent gentleman, in gold and green, with a 
belt of metalwork round his somewhat bulky waist that filled 
my heart with envy. The Siamese women were frightful to 
I ; behold : like monkeys, and ugly monkeys. Before us lay the 
* plain I have described, bounded by the fort. Round the edge 
of the plain wound the procession, through rows of troops, artil- 
lery and cavalry on the maiddn, and infantry lining the streets. 

rFirst came cavalry, then the Viceroy and Lady Lytton on a 

I splendid elephant, with an abominable English silver howdah 
made for the Prince of Wales. Then the body-gua.rd, a very fine 
body of natives, then the governors and swells on other elephants 
to the number of fifty ; then more cavalry and artillery, &c. All 
this is very well, but might have been matched by Mr. Myers's 

! circus and tinsel; but nothing I ever saw or have dreamed of 
! j could equal the rush of native chiefs' elephants that closed the 
' / procession. The chiefs themselves were not there, but their 
I courtiers and retinue were, and they all jostled and pushed 
( together in a most glorious confusion of dress, drapery, and 

! umbrella. I stayed at the Musjid to make a sketch, and two 
iiours afterwards set off for the camp to catch up the procession 
on the Ridge. The Ridge was the place held by. our troops 
during the Mutiny, and from which we bombarded the city ; 
now it was held by natives in force, t A double line of elephants 



DELHI. 



29 



lined the way, swaying backwards and forwards, for the elephant, 
like some huge men I know of, never keeps a moment quiet. 
On their backs magnificent and sometimes magnificently gro- 
tesque howdahs, and in the howdahs a motley crew, — men in 
armour, men with shields and large swords, men with trumpets 
8 feet long, all sorts of wild men shouting and scuffling ; and 
behind all the golden sunset. If my head were not full of other 
work I should have a try at this. Alas ! I have got more than I 
can get through as it is, and can hardly dare to make a sketch 
on the sly. 

All our party dined with the Viceroy on Christmas Day. Lady 
Lytton is as charming as ever, and very popular, and the entertain- 
ment good. It is very easy for those in authority to be popular. 
They have only to give themselves the trouble to look pleased 
and smile, and the world finds them charming. Some are born 
with this talent to please, like our Princess of Wales, whose 
gracious manner has won the love of all, and for whom the world 
is ready to do and say anything, so that I have seen people wait 
hours in the park for the chance of a passing smile. Lady Lytton 
has much of this charm of manner. ^ 

On Tuesday, by-the-bye, I went with the Viceroy to the Place_ 
of Assemblage, as it is called, and further acquaintance docs not 
tend to change in any way my first opinion. They have been j 
heaping ornament on ornament, colour on colour, on the central ! 
or Viceregal dais, till the whole is like the top of a Twelfth cake. 
They have stuck pieces of needlework into stone panels, and 
in shields and battleaxes all over the place. The size — which, 
by the way, will make painting it impossible — gives it a vast 
appearance, like a gigantic circus, and the decorations are in 
keeping. 

On our return from the dais we saw poor Clayton on the 
ground virtually dead, for he died at midnight. It was through 
an accident at polo, but no one seems to have actually seen him 
fall. The game had been played most jealously, and Clayton 
himself remarked that some accident would happen. As the 
iVceroy passed, two ponies cannoned, and when people turned 



30 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



round from seeing the viceregal cavalcade, there lay the poor 
fellow with a broken neck. No one could be more missed ; he 
was most deservedly popular, and the type of a cavalry officer — 
handsome, well mannered, and excelling in all games, especially 
polo, of which game he was said to be the champion. He was 
buried in the old burial-ground of his regiment (the 9th), just 
behind the viceregal tent, where many another brave fellow 
who fell at the siege of Delhi lies asleep waiting for the grand 
" reveille." 

On Wednesday I went for the first time to paint a rajah. I 
was to have begun with Sindia, but he begged to be excused, so 
Holkar was my first victim. Of course it was ridiculous to begin 
making studies before my design was made, but the committee 
were anxious for me to begin work, so off I went with Captain 
Barr, the political officer attached to Holkar. We were half an 
hour late, through no fault of mine, and when we arrived Maha- 
rajah Holkar was having his bath. We were received in his 
absence by the Prime Minister, a fat little tub of a man, with a 
silly manner, but who talked English well. Holkar's elder brother 
also came to join us. Holkar is the child of the late Maharajah 
by adoption only. Hindoos always adopt a younger son, leaving 
the eldest to perform the rites of his father's family. Hence 
it happens, as in this case, that the elder brother has to do 
homage to the younger. Barr, while we were waiting, observed 
Sindia's carriage waiting also ; so he asked whether the rival 
Maharajah was there. He was. "What is he doing.?" "I 
cannot tell you," said the Prime Minister ; but when Holkar frhe 
left us he told us in confidence that Sindia had come over to cook 
Holkar's curry that morning ! Some one had said Maharajah 
Sindia makes the best curry in India. So Sindia, in his delight 
at the compliment, had come to show Holkar what he could do. 
Holkar, after keeping me waiting an hour, at last made his ap- 
pearance. Rather a fine-looking man, 6 feet high, with a dreamy, 
tired look. They say he suffers from bad health. After an intro- 
duction, I set to work. Barr said he behaved badly ; but without 
breakfast, and a Maharajah, what could you expect He made 



DELHI, 



31 



some jokes, at which, of course, all the world laughed, and lolled 
lazily in a chair, as if the world were not worth looking at. 
People brought bracelets and necklaces, and placed them on 
him, he hardly moving his arms the while. Then a Bombay 
merchant brought more jewels to show him, strings of pearls 
were spread on the floor, for which the jeweller asked ;6'20,ooo, 
for one diamond he asked ^40,000, &c. The Maharajah looked 
on sleepily and yawned, whereupon all the Court standing around 
snapped their fingers to keep the devil from jumping down his 
Ilighness's throat. 

I never saw a man so bored, and should have felt more for the 
breakfastless potentate, but that I was equally bored. Painting 
in a tent in this climate with a shining and blazing sun is next 
to impossible, even when you have a good sitter ; and as I could 
not the least see what I was doing, I did not make a good be- 
ginning. After I had been painting half an hour, the Maharajah 
requested me to show him what I had done. " Ah ! " said I, in 
excuse for saying no, " the great God himself took at least five 
and twenty years to make your Highness as beautiful as you are, 
how then can you expect me to reproduce you in half an hour.?" 
Holkar smiled, and was, I flatter myself, " tickled." 

I went straight from Holkar to see the receptions of the Vice- 
roy. He was mostly polite to the princes of India, and to each 
he presented a large banner, worked by the order of the Queen, 
to be carried to the dai"s. ' I saw all the chiefs of Central India, 
including the Begum oFBhopal ; only she had her veil down, and 
looked like a ball of clothes. She used to show her face pretty 
freely ; but lately she has married, and her husband objects to 
her showing herself. 

In the afternoon I went with the Viceroy to see all the Raj- 
poot rajahs, and here again a species of artistic deliriujn tremens 
supervened. One beautiful sight succeeded the other with such 
rapidity, that after three rajahs all was a-blaze in my brain. Five 
minutes was all allowed to the smaller fry, and we topped up 
with twenty minutes with Kashmir. Oodeypore was most interest- 
ing to me : I am going to paint him at home. We were covered 



32 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



with golden garlands, and smothered with stinking attar, or 
some other horrible stuff, each rajah giving a garland and attar 
and pdnr In some places, at the reception of the Bundelcund 
Rajahs, we were dabbed between the eyes with sandal -wood, 
which implies an acknowledgment of fraternal affection. Then 
again the costumes varied in an extraordinary way. Jodhpore 
was all in petticoats in the old Rajpoot dress, with an enormous 
head-dress of yellow. Bhawalpore had a diamond head-dress 
with wings and a top-knot; Kashmir a small turban, an aigrette, 
and so on. In some camps there were men in full armour ; in 
some, those of Dholepore and Chamba, the Rajah was a small 
boy, and looked very funny in the place of honour among so 
many and such exceeding hairy men. The Viceroy was parti- 
cularly civil to the little fellows, and as they all have English 
tutors, and are all supposed to be out of reach of the Zenana, 
perhaps they will turn out well. There is something very nice 
about the native child: he is very graceful, and often pretty and 
engaging. Rajahs, however, get very fat ; I suppose it \?>de regie. 
Almost every one I Ve seen (a pretty good lot, I can tell you) 
has a portentous swelling below the girdle. They "go" in the 
legs too, and even when quite young have an awkward gait. 
Some had a regular store of all kinds of rubbish displayed on 
tables, a jumble of china birds, lamp-shades, dressing-glasses, all 
kinds of cheap stuff. One venerable gentleman, Nabha, I be- 
lieve, had a man grinding "God save the Queen" on a hand 
organ, when we entered his tent. Jheend had a band of bag- 
pipes, and gave us " God bless the Prince of Wales," played by 
pipers as black as soot, but with pink leggings on their knees to 
make them like their Highland originals. We got back to camp 
only at half-past seven. On Thursday I went to Sindhia, or 
Scindhia, or Sindia — it is spelt here "promiscuous." Maharajah 
Sindia of Gwalior, who has an income of ;^3,ooo,ooo, and is per- 
haps the most powerful man in India, next to the Nizam, is a, fat 
black-looking fellow with very curly whiskers, like an old-fashioned 
hussar. He had behaved very badly the day before to the Viceroy, 
who made him Chancellor of the Empire, an English general, 



DELHI. 



33 



and gave him the title of Sword of the Empire, and twenty-one 
guns ; for all which Master Sindia forgot to say thank you." 
The fact is he has an awful temper, and moreover stutters, and 
on that morning had been kept waiting an hour and a half in the 
sun, with the people crowding "betwixt the wind and his nobility." 
When "the black dog" is on him, I am told, he is awful to 
behold, and cannot say a word. His Ministers and Court stand 
round with their hands clasped, speechless the while. 

This morning he was friendly enough. I buttered him up 
finely, and put him where he could see his picture as it went on. 
I did not do a good day's work, for all that. A tent is not the 
place to paint a life-size head in. In the afternoon I went round 
again with the Viceroy, who this time presented me to all the 
swells as his friend and a great artist^ from England. This is as 
it should be ; not that I am overwhelmed with pride, but that 
these rajahs have many of them paid and subscribed money for 
my picture, and would otherwise perhaps give themselves airs. 

Thursday. I had Holkar sitting again ; he was gorged this 
time, having had his breakfast, and could hardly keep awake. 
I had but a short sitting, and left him with the promise of going 
to Indore, to paint him and his son. The Maharajah kept me 
waiting again, so I had only just time to start to meet the Viceroy 
at the Baroda camp for another series of visits. Alas ! owing to 
ignorance of the language, I found myself left at the wrong 
camp ! I wandered about helpless till I stopped a man driving 
his wife in a buggy. I asked him the way. " Jump up," he said ; 
" I will take you." And so he did, and he turned out to be one 
of my father's old nominations for the service, so, you see, he 
repaid the debt of gratitude to the name of Prinsep unwittingly. 
I was, however, too late for Baroda, and picked up the Viceroy at 
the Mysore camp. The Mysore Rajah is a boy. It is curious that 
the three great swells (the Nizam, Baroda, and Mysore) should 
be all minors. Mysore is the eldest of the three, being a heavy- 
looking lad of sixteen. This reception was much like the rest, 
except that a herald came forward with raised arms, and chanted 
a couple of verses in praise of his Rajah. His voice was good. 



34 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



and the whole had a pleasant Homeric effect. I went afterwards 
to the Khan of Khelat, who is a wild hill man, with long hair. 
His suite were very wild fellows too, who advanced to be intro- 
duced to the Viceroy with a fine swing, and a salaam very 
different from the salutation of the cringing Hindoo. He is 
under the charge of Major Bradford, who on his arrival sent him 
up a dinner ready cooked. The Khan, or rather his friends, 
appropriated all the spoons, and all they could lay their hands 
on. The story goes that they ate all the soap prepared for their 
use. They certainly do not look as if they had ever used that 
article, except as food ; and if shown the way it ought to be 
applied externally, their civilization may be commenced here. 

All these visits made me late for my letters, and this journal 
was not written up till a week afterwards. Luckily my memory 
is pretty good, and my head clear. I will never let my journal 
run down again, however, for it is very hard work writing up 
arrears, besides one's other work. 

Saturday. I worked at Sindia again, with an equally unsa- 
tisfactory result. I am told, however, that his Highness of 
Gwalior is not to be got at at home. I have wasted many days 
through my dependence on other people, and that makes the 
task I have to do doubly difficult. We dined again with Lord 
Lytton — I beg his pardon, the Viceroy — on Sunday. There were 
very few people. 

Monday. — The grand day has at last passed. A hurried, 
dusty, noisy, and to me very unsatisfactory day. Luckily it was 
not hot; in fact, it was thought by some that rain would be 
brought down by the salutes. I left camp early in a buggy, and 
soon got into the string of carriages, all hurrying to the place of 
assembly. All kinds and sorts of vehicles there were. They say 
an Irish race meeting presents the most singular collection of 
means of locomotion, but a grand tomasha in India, even putting 
elephants and camels out of the question, would beat even 
Donnybrook Fair. The daisy I have previously described. On 
the central erection they have heaped enormity on enormity — 
the Ossa of bad taste on the Pelion of shrieking colour. The 



DELHI, 



35 



very ropes were clothed in red, white, and blue bannerets. Hap- 
pily, I get out of painting it as it is, and find the Viceroy himself 
anxious that I should make rather a fancy picture of it, and 
introduce the Jumma Musjid into the background. Of necessity 
my picture must be a picture commemorative of the Assemblage 
rather than a faithful reproduction of the scene. Presently the 
banners began to arrive. They are the work of local men, and 
some are not so bad for the kind of thing. They form quite a 
circle round the rajahs, and will help me a bit, I think, in my 
difficult task. The Rajahs themselves arrive one by one, and as 
each has a separate entrance and a guard of honour to himself 
at the back of his place in the semicircle, all collision is avoided. 
I go round and make my salaam to those I know, and inspect 
and take down names. I also have the whole thing photo- 
graphed, but as the figures are very small I fear the photograph 
will be of little use. 

Presently, the few walking in the magic circle are cleared out, 
and the Viceroy is announced. On this grand occasion no one ' 
is to receive a salute but the Queen ; so, with no noise but the 
rustling of his blue silk mantle and the clank of his aide-de- 
camp's spurs (I acted as aide-de-camp on this occasion), preceded 
by his trumpeters, and followed by Lady Lytton and his chil- 
dren and suite. Lord Lytton appears on the dais, then trumpets 
sound out, arms are presented, and all the princes and chiefs arise 
and salaam. 

Lord Lytton salaams^ so the rajahs are pleased, and sit again, 
on permission being given, as the Viceroy takes his seat on his 
throne. 

Then Major Barnes, the biggest man in the army, in herald's P 
tabard, takes off his hat and reads the proclamation, informing 
us that the Queen has assumed the title of Empress and will use 
it on all deeds, writs, &c., &c., " God save the Queen." All this 
was well heard. Then Thornton, who looked small in comparison 
with his enormous predecessor, read the same in Persian. Then \ 
trumpets sounded for the Empress, and thirty-five guns in salvoes \ 
of three at the time were fired from the right wing of the army \ 

a — 2 



36 



IMPERIAL INDIA. \ 



Idrawn up in line. After this rather tedious banging, the infantry- 
fired a feii de joie, commencing on the right of the front rank, 
running all along the front, then back along the rear rank. 
This was splendidly executed and with excellent effect, for it 
made the rajahs jump, and raised quite a stampede among the 
elephants, who " skedaddled " in all directions, and killed a few 
natives. After this another thirty-five guns more, then another 
fcm de joie, and another stampede among the natives ; then thirty- 
one more, making the one hundred and one to salute the new 
Empress. After this came the Viceroy's speech, which was ex- 
cellently written, but, if I might make a criticism, was much too 
long, especially as not a word could be heard by the rajahs around. 
He was quite half an hour praising everybody. After this was 
over, trumpets sounded again. Then, to everybody's surprise, 
Kashmir, Sindia, and Sir Salar Jung each addressed the meeting, 
the two first in their native language, and the last in excellent 
English. Then trumpets again, and the Viceroy bows and de- 
clares the meeting over. All this you will have read in the 
papers probably in choice language, if not so truthfully, and 
you will ask what I thought of the busiaesSj,ij Well, candidly 
s]3eaking, it was what is called a splendid sight, but so was 
Batty's hippodrome, and so is Myers's circus : of the really 
splendid and impressive there was an utter want. 

People said the rajahs had no business to sit down while the 
Viceroy stood. No doubt this was so. To declare our empire pro-, 
perly we ought to have made them salaam to the ground before 
the flag* The new school, however, are all for the native, and the 
rajah has things made easy for him.* Pictorially, as I have already 
said, this thing cannot be rendered. I must try to put some- 
thing into it which it had not — more dignity and distinction. 

* I see by the official book by Talboys Wheeler, that a great point is made 
of the difference of the homage exacted by the Mogul, who forced every 
tributary prince to crawl up to the throne, and that which we in more en- 
lightened times expect. The great question is, however, how this difference 
affects the natives' minds, and whether they are sufficiently civilized to 
attribute the change to our greater enlightenment and not to our greater 
weakness. 



DELHI. 



37 



Alas ! there is a frightful amount of detail to be got through, and 
how or when can I do it ? 

The jog back to camp was very amusing ; but, oh ! the time 
one had to wait for carriage and buggy, and the bliss of a b.-and-s. 
when back in the cool ! And so finished the grand day. 

In the evening there was a grand reception at the Viceroy's, after"~^ 
a dinner, at which the new honours were announced. There was 
much discontent, of course, as might be expected. The reception 
was very amusing, as all the great rajahs were there. They are 
trying to make Englishmen of them. It seems to me they arc 
beginning at the wrong end. The small fry take to receptions^! 
and champagne, but the big ones look awfully bored,' and do 
not understand waiting in the cold for their carriages ; and the-— ^^J 
crowding, both here and at the levee^ was so great that at one 
time the poles of the shamidna swayed in an ominous manner. 
Indeed, we were lucky in our escape, for had that weight of 
canvas fallen upon us and the lamps, we must have all been 
burnt alive. Then what promotion there would have been ! I 'm 
afraid the whole thing was wanting in dignity. The entrees were 
very small, and the lucky individual, English or Hindoo, who 
was nearest the door, was often shot into the presence by the 
pressure of the crowd behind in a way calculated to ruffle the 
most dignified comportment. The exit through an opening in 
the khanaiit, or wall, of the reception-tent, was, if anything, worse. 



2nd Jamiary. 

I find the discontent and dissatisfaction of the European com- 
munity is much increased by the proceedings of the ist. People 
here talk of the " Black Raj," where everything is sacrificed to 
the native. There have been no balls for the ladies, who have 
come with trunks full of new dresses, and indeed, no parties 
without dark gentlemen. I myself do not see much harm in 
all this attempt to civilize the native, but I fear it does not always 
succeed. 



38 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



To see the great rajahs at a party is pitiable. Their dig- 
nity is offended, and they sit and sulk in corners. The smaller 
ones are much more gregarious. The whole lot, with few excep- 
tions, are quite uneducated, and have no occupation but those 
of the Zenana and drinking. Some, like Sindia, have a hobby, — 
his being soldiering. Holkar is a kind of banker, and deals in 
money. My experience of the gentlemen is getting very ex- 
tensive. I find the head men very civil, if taken properly, but 
their dewans, or prime ministers, are bad to deal with. These 
have to spend their whole time in keeping their rajah in good 
humour, and of course do it by flattering and pandering to his 
vanity generally. That such men, so surrounded from their 
earliest youth, should be unfit for European society, is not to be 
wondered at. Add to this the fact that they are constantly 
watched and necessarily snubbed by some political officer, who 
is often a fine fellow and a gentleman, but who from the nature 
of his office is viewed with mistrust and suspicion by the rajah, 
whom he in his turn is continually convicting of conduct not 
usual in an English gentleman but which a native thinks not 
unbecoming. It is not everybody who can deal with natives. 
You must have a presence, and be familiar but very firm. 

There is no denying the fact that lately the distance between 
the races has been much increased, especially on the English side. 
Through the effort to exalt the native unduly, the unthinking part 
of the English community is up in arms against the "Black Raj." 
I hear all kinds of stories about the British subalterns. I myself 
was witness to their behaviour at the Viceroy's levee. They made 
loud remarks about the rajahs there present, and expressed a 
wish to cut their ears off to get their jewels, or bonnet them, &c. 
— quite forgetting that many of the rajahs understand English. 
This was, no doubt, mere silly chaff of a lot of young fellows 
who were hot and uncomfortable, and kept up their spirits by a 
running fire of badinage. But I doubt whether rajahs understand 
chaff. One cannot be surprised if they, like the worm, wish 
sometimes to turn. 

At the races the other day, for the Viceroy's cup, we had an 



DELHI. 



39 



instance of a rajah's generosity, which, I think, is worth record- 
ing. The horse that won the cup was disquahfied through some 
sHght cause. The next horse was, of course, then entitled to 
the prize ; but the Rajah of Jodhpore, to whom this horse be- 
longed, at once went up to the other horse's owner, and said, 
"Your horse beat mine fairly, and I must beg you will accept the 
cup from me." They say he did the thing capitally, and it was 
a nice thing to have done, considering that he had brought his 
horse from England for this particular race. Rajahs are not all 
so generous. 

My time from the first has been mostly spent in rajah society. 
I have begun, as I said, Sindia ; but he once forgot all about my 
appointment, and once, after sitting a quarter of an hour, calmly 
announced that the Nizam was coming to see him, and that he 
must go and dress. I was obliged to say to him, " If you do not 
sit better, I shall have to represent you very poorly in my picture;" 
whereupon he invited me to Gwalior ; and I shall have to go, 
bad luck to it ! 

My next sitter was Orcha, then came Dattia — both Maha- 
rajahs of Bundelcund, and living in parts of the country very 
difficult of access, as do all the Bundelcund ivallahs. It would 
take three months' travelling to do them, I am told ; so I had to 
content myself with such water-colour drawings as I could 
manage here at Delhi. Orcha is a decidedly handsome fellow 
— a great chasseur, they say. He wears his turban quite close 
to his right eye, and the consequence is that the corner of his 
eye is rather drawn up. This rajah sat beautifully, but alas ! his 
coat is so elaborate that I could hardly do anything but the 
merest blot of it. And this applies equally to each of these 
fellows. I have been knocking them off in two sittings, which 
is perfectly absurd. I have got a tolerable likeness of head and 
pugree ; the rest is quite hopeless, for to do each properly 
would take a month. Orcha's is one of the oldest families in 
India. It is said that the Rajahs of Orcha never did homage to 
any superior till the arrival of the Prince of Wales. They were 
once very powerful, and owned a great deal of territory j but 



40 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



their obstinate independence has been fatal to their power, and 
the family possessions are now driven back to the hilly and 
inaccessible parts of Bundelcund. The Orcha retinue was 
conspicuously splendid in different kinds of armour. 

Dattia, the other Bundelcund Rajah, is not handsome. He has 
a largish nose, pig eyes, and an enormous stomach. He was 
very inquisitive, wished to see the whole process of painting, and 
examine the colours, &c. A rajah sitting is a wonderful sight. 
He has his ministers round, who speak to his Highness with 
clasped hands. Then he has sweetmeats brought him, or rather 
some beastly stuff in a leaf, which he chews.* Then he has a 
turn at his hookah. Meanwhile I curse inwardly. All round 
there are strange noises — tom-toms, flutes, or horns being prac- 
tised on, till I get nearly distracted. Sometimes his Highness 
says, "I am hungry, and must eat." Away he goes. In fact, it 
is the privilege of the great to eat and sleep when and where 
they wish. You see mine is not a bed of roses. 

I have lately taken three a day, beginning with Sampthar and 
Panna. Sampthar, another Bundelcunder, is a thin, consump- 
tive-looking Rajah, and the only Rajah of his nation, viz., Gooja, 
or Herdsmen. When I arrived at his tents, his dewan declared 
his master must sit on his throne, which was an enormous erec- 
tion with a hood. I said he should not, whereupon the Minister 
said it would never do for the Rajah to sit anywhere else. "Very 
well," I said, "then I will not do him at all;" and the Minister 
yielded. Sampthar himself made no bones about sitting in an 
ordinary chair ; so I painted him. Then came Banna's turn. 
A sharp little fellow is Panna, stout and short, and, strange to 
say, intelligent. He has diamond mines of his own, and has a 
gorgeous collection of precious stones generally. Panna has an 
amusing stutter, and has to slap his leg to get out his words. 
He paints his eyes, and speaks English. 

* This is pdn, and consists in an assortment of nuts, aromatic and astrin- 
gent, and a dab of lime, all wrapped in a leaf of the betel-tree. Some of the 
nuts are rather pleasant to chew in very hot weather, as they moisten the 
mouth, and render drinking unnecessary. 



DELHI. 



41 



I ought next to have painted Bijawar ; but he was away- 
larking with Rewah, so Ajigurh sends for me and I draw a hasty 
sketch of him. He is a neat Httle chap, with a most elaborate 
dress, which it was madness to attempt in the time. My drawing 
was most slight, and will only serve for his head. 

To-day I was to have done Bijawar, Chatterpore, and Chirka- 
ree. The first was not up, and declared he was ill, so I have 
cut him off my list. Chatterpore is a little boy, with no nose to 
speak of, and is generally frightful. Fancy this youth of twelve 
demanding his hookah ! It appears he used to smoke cheroots, 
but the political agent very properly stopped that He was 
covered with jewels, yet for all that was a miserable object. Chir- 
karee has the reputation of being a little wanting. I went there 
an hour and a half too soon, in consequence of the failure of 
Bijawar. His Highness sent to ask me to lend him my watch 
to see the time, and, after keeping me a short while, turned up 
fully dressed and very polite. He was the only one of the whole 
lot that presented me, during my tour of sittings, with attar and 
i>dn, and a magnificent garland of tinsel or harJi. 

I have thus done six rajahs, and begin two more to-morrow. 
These Bundelcund chiefs were all kept in Delhi to enable me to 
paint them. Some of them had struck all their tents but one 
little one, in which it was almost impossible to work. All were 
anxious to know when I should have done, and showed as much 
joy at being let off as schoolboys going for their holidays. To- 
morrow I pause, before I begin her Highness of Bhopal. 

I went out last Friday to see the march past of the native 
troops, which closed the tomasha for the swells. It was really 
a curious sight. Fancy Myers's circus, only the real thing. Ele- 
phants are here much painted both on trunk and body, and 
have their tusks completed with false ivory. They trumpeted and 
salaamed as they passed. One elephant waved a pocket-hand- 
kerchief ; one had two rose-coloured bell-glasses on the end of 
his false tusks. There were squadrons of men in armour, bands 
playing impossible tunes, and finally one contingent who marched 
by with presented arms. The only drawback to all this was that 



42 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



it lasted two hours, and we went away, all of us, heartily tired, for 
the sun was very hot. 

Delhi camp may now be said to have ended its troubled exist- 
ence. Of many camps not a tent remains, and soon the whole 
plain will assume its usual monotonous appearance, and nought 
will remain to tell of all these great doings but chimneys built of 
mud, arranged in rows, and even now tumbling to ruin. There 
were at least four Delhis before our time. Three are in ruins : 
the one that exists (properly called Shah-Jehanabad) is the fourth. 
We have built a fifth, that has lasted a shorter time than any of 
its rivals ; but a fortnight, butterfly-like, with many colours — 
making much noise with banging guns and martial music — and 
now nothing ! And as if to wipe out all sight of it, last night 
the weather changed, and rain has set in. It blows great guns — 
the only great guns we hear — for all is over. Long live the 
Empress and Empire of India ! " and off go chiefs and officials 
to their homes far away. The curtain falls, for the great and 
imperial spectacle-drama is ended. Turn down the lights. 

To-day, despite the wind, I drove out to the Kutub, or Minar 
of Kutub-ood-deen, as it ought to be called, eleven miles from 
Delhi. Along all the way from the present Delhi you see ruins 
of the former cities. Indian houses are mostly made of mud, 
easily effaced by the heavy rains of the country ; so all these 
eleven miles are huge formless mounds of earth, on which great 
vultures perch, but where no grass grows. Only here and there 
are the tombs of the former owners of all this power. These 
are mostly in ruins too, but being built of stone, still rear their 
proud heads o'er the forgotten dead they were raised to immor- 
talize. Some few of the principal ones alone have names. There 
are the tombs of Humayun and Sufter Jung ; the former is the 
tomb of an emperor, but is better known among Europeans by 
being the place where Hodgson took the two sons of the King 
of Delhi. A grim story, that. Nothing is finer in history than 
that figure of a single Englishman among those three thou- 
sand courtiers of Delhi, who were all desperate from the failure 
of their plans, but yet surrendered their two leaders at his im- 



DELHI. 



43 



pcrious demand without a struggle. So Hodgson rode off, and 
would that the gallant sabreur had ended there ! But he who 
had not quailed at the tomb of Hamayun declared he was afraid 
of a rescue from the rabble of Delhi, and bid his royal prisoners 
alight. " Surely the bitterness of death is past ! " they cried, 
with Agag. " Take off your coats ! " was the stern reply ; and he 
pistolled one, while his sowar killed the other, and their bodies 
were thrown before the kotwal, or police station, in the Chandnee- 
chowk, the principal street of Delhi. 

I have never seen anything more impressive than these cities 
(for there are more than one) of the dead. The Kutub itself, 
built to assert the sway of Mahomet over India, stands in the 
middle of an Indian temple. By it was a magnificent mosque, 
but mosque and temple are alike ruins, and the Kutub alone 
remains perfect to assert the power of Mahomet over dust. Truly . 
Delhi is a city of tombs ! 

As to the Minar itself, I can only say that I have seen most of 
the splendours of Italy, yet nowhere — not even in Florence, where 
they can boast of Giotto's Tower — have I seen so perfect a work. 
Ring or belt after belt of delicate tracery, interwoven with texts 
of the Koran, rises to the height of 250 feet, while the whole is 
a beautiful reddish colour, slightly mottled, not by time but in- 
tentionally. I have not seen the Taj : I go there next week ; 
but if it equals what I have already seen, it must be a wonder 
indeed ! The Jumma Musjid, the Dewan-i-Khas, and the Ku- 
tub have sunk deep into my imagination ; why, then, am I to 
paint Cremorne and the Crystal Palace and Brummagem iron- 
work 

The night I dispatched my last, we had a tremendous down- 
pour and thunder-storm. It began while we were at dinner, and 
lasted all night. Before we had finished dinner the rain-water 
was streaming through the tent. I never saw such rain ! Most 
of the tents were flooded, and some were a pitiable sight in the 
morning. Our neighbour, Major Bradford, had a mdlak or stream 
3 feet deep, formed through the middle of his child's sleeping- 
tent ! Where the ladies of our camp had their tents there were 



44 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



1 8 inches of water. Luckily, all our ladies had left or we should 
have been in a pretty state. This was on Thursday night, nth 
January. On Friday we left camp, and are now living at the 
Northbrook Hotel. 

I had my first sitting of the Begum of Bhopal on this day. I 

went down to see her with the "political" in charge, Captain C . 

The Begum has taken a house in the city for a week. We entered 
through a dirty doorway in the Lalpure Road, and passed through 
one still dirtier courtyard into another, where we found a crowd 
of natives and a guard with presented arms to receive us. Here 
we alighted, and passing through another door, we came to a 
larger courtyard, in the middle of which there was the usual stone 
canal surrounded with trees. It was a pleasant place. Across 
it was drawn the purdah, behind which the Begum resides. To 
the left was an open verandah, where we found the Nawab, the 
Begum's Prince Consort. He is a stout, good-looking fellow, with 
a determined face, and eyes rather fiercely scowling from under 
his knitted brows. He has just been recognized by our Govern- 
ment and now receives seventeen guns. The Begum, like the 
Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, chose her Fritz from the lower 
classes. His Highness the Nawab was originally a schoolmaster 
and copier of books. Even now, report says, he drops the 
Prince Consort, returns to his pedagoguish habits, and corrects 
the Begum soundly. He is polite enough to us, and after a 
little delay and a thunder-storm, he finally announces her High- 
ness. 

Straightway the court is cleared of males. Poor C is 

placed behind a column, with his back turned, and I am left to 
receive the hitherto invisible lady. All this is nonsense, but the 
habit of the country. Before marriage the Begum was very 
visible, but since the advent of the Nawab she has become a 
purdah lady. I had seen her, as I have described, at the audience 
Lord Lytton gave her ; and now the same little figure, like a 
blue ball with thin red supporters, or legs, comes waddling across 
the court. The Nawab gallantly advances, and conducts her to a 
chair placed on a carpet, and down she sits. I look aghast ; she 



DELHI. 



45 



wears a veil. After a moment I call out to C that her I Ugli- 
ness has forgotten an important ceremony. He explains to the 
Nawab, who advances and throws back the veil. Well, I am not 




HER HIGHNESS SHAH JEHAN, BEGUM OF BHOPAL. 



dazzled. The Begum is decidedly plain, and not young. Pre- 
sently I perceive she has good eyes, but her mouth is pinched, 
and traces of age are on her cheek. She is only thirty, but 
natives of that age are somewhat passe. Her dress is not par- 



46 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



ticularly becoming, and she has none of the jewellery and pre- 
cious stones found on the ruling male, whether Moslem or 
Hindoo. Her Highness has a heavy, weary look. She keeps 
continually glancing towards the Nawab. 1 fancy she is awfully 
afraid of him ; and I feel for the poor thing : even Begums are 
human, and dislike the stick. I have had several sittings since 
then, and she has always the same frightened, stolid look when 

he is by. To the second sitting C did not come, and the 

" Master Sahib " was called on to supply his place. This gentle- 
man is a native, called to teach the Nawab's sons (by a former 
marriage) English. You may imagine his proficiency when I 
tell you what he said to me after the sitting. With enthusiasm 
he cried, seizing me by the arm, " Ah ! you are a wonderful 
painter, I do not think." This man's pupils are a nuisance, as 
they keep chanting their lessons close by, swaying their bodies 
after the manner of all Eastern children at school. The Begum, 
like all natives, is fond of noise, and there are about twenty 
parrots immediately outside the verandah that serves me as a 
studio. You cannot conceive the effect all this has on the nerves 
when work is not turning out well. 

I find, on a second visit to the Dewan-i-Khas, that the deco- 
rations are more knocked about than I thought at first. We 
have restored one of the ceilings, and the restoration is awful. 
The restoration of ruins is a very serious question. It always 
seems to me that it is much more difficult to repair than to 
design, — to enter into another man's plans, than to invent for 
oneself. A real artist would have retouched without repainting. 
Here, of course, the Engineers advise on the matter, and " fools 
rush in where angels fear to tread." 

On Saturday, 13th January, v/e had some jugglers in our sit- 
ting-room at the hotel here. I have heard all my life of Indian 
jugglers, and was prepared to see marvels. These are the second 
I have seen ; and the head man, apparently very well known, 
was furnished with innumerable chits^ or letters of recommenda- 
tion. Every native who comes near you asks for a chit Some 
this man showed me, in his simplicity, were very amusing. One 



DELHI. 



47 



said, " Rumchund fleeced me out of thirteen rupees and half a 
bottle of brandy, after performing some indifferent tricks." His 
tricks were of the usual kind : he was certainly a clever presti- 
digitator ; but as he had two women and one man accomplices, 
his tricks, to any one accustomed to conjuring, were not very 
wonderful. The basket trick he did not do. The mango trick 
he performed ; but as the mango produced was anything but 
fresh, and could easily have been produced by one of the above- 
named accomplices, there was nothing astounding about it. 
Descriptions of such things never convey the right impression. 
After the conjuring we had some Nuts, or gipsies, to tumble. 
We had invited some people in the hotel to see the tricks, and 

among them Major and Mrs. C . Mrs. C was rather 

disturbed by the announcement of the conjurors that ladies some- 
times objected to this performance, and more so when both men 
and women began taking off their clothes. She stopped, how- 
ever, to see the beginning. First, these two men, entirely nude 
except the thinnest cloth round the loins, threw somersaults 
through hoops in a really wonderful way ; then came the woman's 
turn, and here Mrs. C fled. She might have stayed, how- 
ever, for there was nothing the least shocking in the performance. 
The woman merely contorted herself very much in the way one 
sees on classical vases. Altogether she was very graceful, and 
well worth seeing. 

To-day I have received visits from the artists of Delhi : they 
are three in number, and each appears to have an atelier of 
pupils. The best is one Ismael Khan. Their manual dexterity 
is most surprising. Of course, what they do is entirely traditional. 
They work from photographs, and never by any chance from 
nature. Ismael Khan showed me what his father had done 
before photographing came into vogue, and really a portrait of 
Sir C. Napier was wonderfully like, though without an atom of 
chic, or artistic rendering. I pointed out to the old man 
certain faults — and glaring ones — of perspective, and he has 
promised to do me a view of the Golden Temple without any 
faults. 



48 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



" These," said he, pointing to his miniatures, " are done for 
the sahibs who do not understand. I know they are wrong, but 
what does it matter ? No one cares. But I will show you that 
I can do better." * 

It is a pity such wonderful dexterity should be thrown away. 
Some means of really educating these fellows might be hit upon. 
If only they could see better work, they would quickly improve. 
At present the talent seems to be hereditary, and father, son, 
and grandson are necessarily painters, and all with the same 
mechanical capacity and admirable patience. "Time is of no 
more value here than it is to a sitting hen," said my Yankee. 

Some of this young fellow's sayings are very funny. One of 
our party who went to see the jugglers was a man who looked 

anything but 'cute. " Well," said G , " that man is hardly 

capable of getting out of his own way." 

Describing a shot he made at a quail to-day, he said, " I made 
the meanest shot ever made by a white man." 

To-morrow we leave Delhi for Agra, and I confess I leave 
with great regret. I had calculated on two or three days' sketch- 
ing, but, alas ! it has taken to raining, so I have quite failed. 
Indian landscape under a cloudy sky does not do. I do not 
suppose I shall ever find time to return to do what I wanted, 

so my good intentions must go to that well-paved place 

below. I trust, however, to-morrow may be fine, and give me 
one chance. 

It never rains long together in India at this time of the year, 
and I had a fine day, which I devoted to making a sketch of the 
Jumma Musjid. Jumma Musjid means general mosque, in fact 
cathedral. I have described the one at Delhi before. My sketch 
was necessarily slight, as Eastern architecture, and Indian in 
particular, goes into such minute detail, that it is impossible to 
give anything but the vaguest idea of its colour ; but with the help 
of photos and my own sketches for figures, I think I shall be able 
to knock up a picture of the mosque. 

* This better miniature I never received ; perhaps my friend Ismael found 
it not so easy to do a perfect picture. 



DELHI. 49 

That afternoon I had to go and thank the Commissioner for 
his hospitality, and to pay a visit ; and on the i6th January, in 
the evening, we left, and arrived at Agra by 7.30 a.m., Wednes- 
day, 17th January. 



4 



CHAPTER IV. 



AGRA. 



OU reach Agra by a bridge across the Jumna. Some few 



J- minutes before you get there, out of the left window of 
the carriage you see in the distance the celebrated Taj. The sun 
was rising when we first saw it, and the white domes told in faint 
lilac against the golden sky. The outline of the Taj, I frankly 
admit, I do not like : other domes or cupolas rise from a square 
or hexagonal base, but the dome of the Taj rises from a circle, 
and swells straight away. The view from the railway prepared 
me for disappointment on a closer inspection. Crossing the river, 
the railway takes you close to the fort. Like the Delhi fort, 
the fort at Agra is built of red sandstone, and the Red Sand- 
stone Gate, close to which you find yourself upon leaving the 
station, is very imposing. We had little time, however, to inspect, 
for breakfast has great charms for the traveller who has sped all 
night long by rail, and our lodgings had to be secured. Off we 
went to the club, of which, owing to the foresight of my brother, 
we had previously been made honorary members. We drove past 
many comfortable-looking bungalows, whose inhabitants were 
many of them starting for their morning ride. Unfortunately 
the club bungalow was full, and we had to content ourselves with 
two rooms in an indifferent hotel called the " Agra Cantonment 
Hotel." There we breakfast, and by eleven o'clock are ready to 
start sight-seeing. 

First we go to the fort. It is not so big as the Delhi fort, but 
more irregular in shape. As at Delhi, towards the river are the 
royal buildings, and, as at Delhi, the hand of the Englishman 
has done its best to destroy. At the summit of the rising 




50 



AGRA. 



51 



ground on which the fort is built, the pious Mohammedan has 
erected to his deity a mosque of white marble, which is called, 
as usual, Mooti Musjid, from its white colour. It is much larger 
than the mosque in the fort in Delhi, and has been lately cleaned 
and repaired. This perhaps may account for a certain cold, chilly, 
unsympathetic look. From the mosque we went to the Dewan-i- 
Am, and found it entirely spoilt by the restorations. It looks some- 
thing like a railway station ; but behind this outer abomination 
there is a series of courts which defy description. As this is not 
intended for a guide book, I will not attempt to describe in order 
the different things to be seen ; indeed, having been only once 
to the fort, it would be impossible for me to give such a descrip- 
tion. I can only record my impression of the thing as a whole. 

There is, then, an inner dewan built of marble, and sumptu- 
ously inlaid with cornelian and lapis, and from the back of this 
you come on a white marble balcony looking over the river, which 
is a perfect gem. Fit indeed is it for a king ! One can imagine 
Shah Jehan gazing fondly at the Taj, seen some mile and a half 
distant, rising over the remains of his beloved Mumtaz-i-Mahal, 
the mother of his children. Behind this dewan you come to a 
series of splendid buildings. One of them was decorated with 
ornamental flowers painted on marble, like those in Dewan-i-Khas 
at Delhi, and which are still singularly beautiful in their faded 
colour. Alas! the hand of the English Engineer has been here also! 
One corner of the lovely room was repainted to show the Prince 
of Wales what it was when new. Ye gods ! what a sight ! — the 
most tinselly gold, the crudest reds and yellows, the coarsest 
possible work. If this is what it was when new, let us have no 
more like it ; let us at least leave what is picturesque and 
beautiful to delight the eye as long as there remains a trace of 
the pattern. Let us keep up the building and keep out the rain. 
But for Heaven's sake, O ye higher powers who direct such 
matters ! spare us the decorations of the unartistic and the wild 
imaginings of the Engineer, which are not only horrible in them- 
selves, but replace the traces, the beautiful traces, of former art. 

Yet I heard a high oflicial asking whether it was not very fine ! 

4 — 2 



52 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



Thank Heaven, the experiment was so costly that, in the present 
state of Indian finance, it is not Hkely to be repeated for the 
next year or two, and by then I hope the authorities will have 
awakened to the necessity of having some responsible artistic 
advice in such matters. 

In the tracery of the beauteous balcony I mentioned above 
are some great holes, torn by the cannon-shot of the victorious 
rebels during the Mutiny. Such random damage is easy to re- 
pair ; it 's only that inflicted at leisure by the hand of the skilled 
labourer that it is impossible to restore. 

Beyond these chambers and courts, which are of the later Mogul 
period, there is a corner of the fort where are the ruins of a palace 
built in an early and more robust style, inspired, and no doubt 
carried out, by Hindoo workmen. Some of this is very fine, and 
I must say, in justice to the Engineers whom I have before roundly 
abused, that the portion already restored seems done in a good 
spirit, and with a feeling for the original work. It was time 
this was done, for there has been much wanton destruction, and 
the place was in absolute ruins. To restore a building stone for 
stone, when there is a pattern to go by, is much easier than to 
restore a decoration, for colour is more subtle than stone. Not 
only has this portion fallen into a dilapidated state, but some 
one has built a European house in one of the most prominent 
corners. 

Behind this portion of the palace, which is built of red sand- 
stone, there is a beautiful garden, and out of this opens the cele- 
brated bath, decorated with talc and looking-glass, called the 
Shis-i-Mahal ; it is curious, but to my mind somewhat childish in 
taste. 

Agra is celebrated for its inlaid stonework, which art, they say, 
was introduced into India by Italian workmen. It is said that 
the Taj, and all the work of that date, was done by Italians. I 
don't think this can be so. At first, no doubt, the Mohammedan 
work was an adaptation of the Hindoo style, but finer and rather 
bolder in its original design. Then came the later style, which 
has much more delicacy of finish, and employs much more ex- 



AGRA. 



53 



quisite material — where everything looks like a precious gem, 
but which to my mind loses in grandeur and originality. Never- 
theless it has a beauty of its own, very different from any Italian 
Renaissance work that I have seen ; and 1 am convinced that, 
though some Italians may have been employed on it, an Oriental 
designed it — and a very clever fellow he must have been. The 
palace at Agra, and that of Delhi, in their fanciful decoration, 
give one quite a thrill of pleasure. They are all roses and lilies, 
Swinburne's poems, with melodious rhythm, meaning Heaven 
knows what, and no one cares what ; but they have not the 
settled beauty that sinks into the mind and lasts. 

The fort at Agra has been more spoilt than that at Delhi. At 
Delhi the ground upon which the buildings stand is flat. At 
Agra the ground rises till it reaches the Mooti Musjid, which the 
pious Emperor meant to stand as the crown of his work ; and 
surely no more fitting crown to man's work could be found than 
this marble temple to the One God. The English Engineer has, 
however, thought otherwise, and the ensemble of this glorious 
building has been needlessly spoilt by the erection, on an equality 
with the Musjid, of two stupendous and horrible barracks. 

The famous Taj-Mahal is the most perfect specimen 1 know 
of the "roses and lilies" art I mentioned above. Not only is it 
complete in itself, but all its surroundings, and even the approach 
from Agra, tend to increase its peculiar charms. You leave Agra, 
and drive under the red and frowning walls of the fort, called in 
Hindoo poetry the Lal-Kehlah, or Red Fort ; then along the banks 
of the Jumna, with ruins and bare mud hillocks on your right- 
hand side, the river on your left, and the Taj glittering in the 
distance ; then you turn round to the right and are amidst ruins. 
On you drive, till you pass under a ruined arch, into a spacious 
but ruined court ; then you stop at a tall gate, mount some steps, 
and Taj is before you. No ruins there ! — a beautiful garden 
with a well, paved walks on either side, a long strip of water, 
flowers, bright-foliaged trees, and dark cypresses, — all that could 
render the wonderful white marble more white and dazzling by 
contrast ; and above all the blue heaven, or glittering white clouds. 



54 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



that are positively out-glittered by the whiter marble of Shah 
Jehan. 

It is all this that impresses the multitude, and causes them to 
exclaim, " See the Taj, and die!" It is idle to criticize : the thing 
is most beautiful, and far be it from me to exclaim, as the French 
critic makes Michael Angelo's Adam exclaim, quoi bon? '^ 
" Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die !" Did Shah Jehan 
forget Mumtaz-i-Mahal in the glories of the tomb he erected to 
her memory, even as Mr. Shandy forgot his grief for the death 
of his firstborn, in thinking of the many beautiful things that 
had been said, or could be said, on the subject ? And Mumtaz-i- 
Mahal, whose very name has been forgotten by the multitude, 
who assert that the sepulchre raised by Shah Jehan was built for 
Noor Jehan, his mother (who they say was his wife), instead of 
Mumtaz-i-Mahal, the Exalted of the Palace! — did Shah Jehan 
think, when he was weeping for her, that one of his sons would 
wage bitter war against him, and imprison him ? Roses and 
lilies! thorns and poisons ! Let us enjoy the Taj and such things 
while we can. — By all this you will see that I am out of spirits, 
and have been reading my history. 

Of the Taj itself there is no need of description. Every one 
has seen photos innumerable of its white domes : let guides and 
guide books give the number of rupees it cost, and enumerate 
the number of workmen employed on it during the seventeen 
years it was being built. Think not of the misery of the myriads 
forced to labour without pay, and starved meanwhile by wretched 
grasping contractors. All these things are for others. For me, 
the two or three days I spent in the gardens of the Taj were 
truly delightful. What a change ! the smell of roses instead of 
betel-nut and frowzy rajahs ; the wild shrieks of the kite, the 
cooing of doves, instead of the noise of tom-toms or the gurgle 
of hubble-bubbles. Nature, in fact, and art. Ah, me ! in a day 
or two I must " rajahfy" again. 

The Taj has certainly a wonderful effect on everybody. While 
painting in the gardens, hundreds of British soldiers tramped in 
to see " one of the wonders of the world," as I heard one say. 



AGRA. 



55 



" Tommy Atkins's " remarks were curious. One youth ex- 
claimed, "Lor, Jim ! what a lot I shall have to say when I next 
write home." I should like to see the boy's letter : he was 
young, and has, no doubt, dear ones at home who will wonder 
at all the things written by their scapegrace. And possibly the 
Taj will make him write the sooner. Blessings on Shah Jehan ! 
not in vain have all those tears been shed ! 

Another youthful warrior said, pointing to some repairs that 
rendered scaffolding necessary on one of the minarets, " It re- 
minds me. Bill, of Lichfield Cathedral: they was always a-doing 
some repairs to that, I remember." " Home, sweet home." The 
Taj and Staffordshire ! 

" I should like to have it in New York as a show, for fifty cents 
a head," said my matter-of-fact American ; but then he is a citizen 
of the world. 

Within the beauteous building side by side lie the royal pair, 
their tombs inlaid with precious stones. The Faithful even now 
place flowers on these tombs, and pray to Allah, and to the btirra 
sahib for rupees. The English treat the Taj well, and spend 
much on keeping it in repair ; and the grateful Mussulman shows 
with a shudder the gashes made by the Rajah of Bhurtpore as he 
forced out the cornelian and jasper flowers from the inlaid tomb 
with his heathen and ruthless dagger. Maharajah Sindia, or 
Maharajah Holkar, the cherished and well-hugged friends of His 
Excellency Lord Lytton, would probably follow the example of 
His Highness of Bhurtpore had they his chance of occupying 
Agra. 

I am happy to see by the best authority that it was not an Italian 
that designed the Taj, but the Turk. There is, however, authentic 
record of one Italian who was employed on the decorations. 

On Saturday, 20th January, we left Agra for a couple of days 
to see Futtehpore Sikree, which is twenty-four miles distant. 

The drive thither is delicious ; the roads are good, and trees 
on either side lend their grateful shade. The country, like all of 
Hindostan I have hitherto seen, is as flat as a pancake ; but the 
plains are green, and Agra and its neighbourhood boast many 



56 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



beautiful trees, some of which are remarkable for their size, and 
picturesque with their gnarled and twisted trunks. Two hours and 
a half, and we see the city of Akbar before us. On we roll 
through the ruined gates, and as we go glance on the formidable 
walls, seven miles in circumference, which were made for a mag- 
nificent city, but where no city ever stood. Up, then, to the fort. 
On either hand we see two small villages : that to the right 
Futtehpore, on the other side Sikree, but neither of them cover- 
ing a fifteenth part of the vast space within the walls. Then we 
reach the outer court of Akbar's palace, and alight at one of his 
pavilions, now the dak bungalow. 

Then I go round the sights. Akbar, be it remembered, was 
the contemporary of Queen Elizabeth. He was wedded to a 
Hindoo princess, who gave him the great Jehanghire. Probably 
this lady influenced his taste in architecture, for he of all the 
Moguls was the most ready to employ Hindoo architects and 
Hindoo forms. Do not think, however, that the great Akbar was 
a model husband. Far from it. All round his central palace are 
the small houses of his wives — Turks, Persians, and even, report 
says, one Christian. Only the largest palace was reserved for the 
mother of his boy, and goes by the name of the Hindoo Court. 
Perhaps there was more than one Hindoo princess. On the 
highest ground, as usual, rises the mosque, and a magnificent one 
it is, worthy of so great an Emperor. But first for the palace. 
Truly the ruins are superb. Red sandstone almost as good as 
marble is the material universally employed, and not a bit of 
wood for floor, rafter, or roof have I found. This red sandstone 
takes a wonderful finish, and seems very easy to work. Court 
after court, pavilion after pavilion have I seen, all wonderfully 
wrought over with ingenious and beautiful patterns, and all as 
fresh and sharp in detail as the day they were done ; only here 
and there has it been found necessary to build a prop to support 
the great weight of all this stone on the roof ; and so it all remains, 
almost as perfect as when the great Emperor left it in disgust. 
Yet it has been for years uninhabited — in fact, Akbar alone 
lived here. 



AGRA. 



S7 



" Men say the lion and the lizard keep 
Their watch where Jamseed revelled and drank deep 

So here, where the great Emperor feasted, there is no dread, 
•and where the mighty voice gave judgment and the whole 
world trembled, nought is seen but the timid little grey squirrel, 
or heard but the cry of the ^reen parrot or the coo of the inno- 
cent dove. Two reasons are recorded in history for this de- 
sertion. Some say that Akbar lost a favourite son at Futteh- 
pore Sikree, and left the place in disgust. The more likely 
reason is the want of good water. There is a green and dirty 
tank, certainly, into which for a small sum certain natives plunge 
from the height of 80 feet ; but I can well imagine, if that is the 
only water (and I saw none other), that it would not be either 
pure or wholesome. 

They show a most curious dewaUy in the centre of which rises 
a broad column, with swelling capital.* From this radiate four 
causeways leading to the four corners of the room. On the 
centre column sat Akbar, while the four ministers sat in the 
four corners. The column is about 12 feet high, and the room 
is by no means large, 25 feet square at most. This was the 
Dewan-i-Khas, or Cabinet of Akbar. The Dewan-i-Am, or 
Public Audience Place, is a large courtyard, particularly plain in 
its decoration — good enough for the public of his day, no doubt. 
The whole palace is of Hindoo architecture. 

One cannot help wondering at the smallness of the rooms in- 
habited by this great people. Akbar's room, or rather the one 
shown as Akbar's room, is 12 feet square. In none of his wives* 
pavilions are the rooms larger, and the largest has only six such 
small rooms. I remember, however, when I went round the 
tents of the Jummoo Maharajah, which were magnificent in size, 
finding that his Highness of Kashmir himself slept in a tent 
8 feet square. What astonished me most was the enormous 
wealth of ingenious design displayed all over the palace. There 
was hardly a chamber undecorated with carved work, yet rarely 



* A cast of this column is in the South Kensington Museum. 



58 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



a pattern repeated. Every fruit and flower was represented, and 
in one pavilion birds and beasts ; but the bigoted Aurungzebe 
had, they say, with his own hand chopped off and obHterated all 
trace of their heads. Apropos of Aurungzebe, in my historical 
reading I came across a curious protest against the religious 
persecutions of that monarch, addressed to him by one of his 
sh^dars, the Maharana of Oodeypore, which I wish to record. It 
ends thus : 

" Pagans and Moslems stand alike before the great God. In 
your mosques it is in His Name that^the call to prayer is uttered. 
In the house of idols, where the bell is rung, it is still He that 
is the object of adoration. To vilify the religious customs of 
other men is to set at nought the will of the Almighty. When 
we deface a picture we necessarily incur the resentment of the 
painter." 

The mosque here is one of the most famous in India, and is 
certainly one of the most beautiful. The courtyard is nearly as 
big as that of the Jumma Musjid at Delhi, but the great gate 
does not face the mosque proper, which is curious ; the gate, 
however, was built fifty years after the rest of the mosque. 

On the south side is the celebrated marble tomb of Selim 
Shisti, a saintly man, who was Akbar's parson. The traceries of 
his tomb are the most elaborate I have yet seen, and inside are 
what I imagine to be the earliest attempts at mural painting 
on white marble. I was very pleased to see these, as they are 
clumsier than either the decorations at the Dewan-i-Khas at 
Delhi or in the fort at Agra, and, though the same kind of thing, 
clearly the work of Hindoo artists. This proves to me that the 
later work was not, as some people suppose, inspired by Italians* 
The tomb proper of the saint is like a large four-post bedstead, 
and has been beautifully inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Alas ! the 
upper part has been ruthlessly destroyed, and the legs alone 
remain perfect to show the beauty and delicacy of the design. 

They tell a curious story of Selim Shisti. One day his infant 
son asked his father why he looked so sad. "Alas!" said the 
saint, " I have had a revelation that our lord and master, Akbar 



AGRA. 



59 



will never have a son unless some sinless being is willing to 
sacrifice his life." " That I will do," said the boy, and straight- 
way died, and here he lies ; and, after three hundred years, 
ladies who desire male heirs make pilgrimages to his tomb, and 
branches of a tree that grows thereby are, if plucked and taken 
away, sure preventives against fever and all the ills flesh is heir 
to. Even the traceries around the Saint Selim's tomb are covered 
with little bits of worsted, tied there by heirless ladies ! 

The mosque proper is on the west side of the courtyard, 
looking, therefore, east. It is of the usual shape, one large arch 
leading to an inner shrine. All the courtyard round is Hindoo 
in character, but this mosque has the pointed arch of the Moslem. 
The decorations inside are most beautiful, — not roses and lilies 
here. Every part of the walls, roof and all, is covered with 
designs, all of them most original and fine : some are geometric 
patterns, made of inlaid marble and painted pieces of vitreous 
tile ; some are panels painted on the stone itself But the rich- 
ness and beauty of the whole has, so far as I have -seen, never 
been surpassed. Apropos of tiles, I have never seen a painted 
tile in India : all I have seen have been cut into shape, are of 
one colour, and are used as mosaic to make the pattern. 

One thing I noticed in this mosque as differing from anything 
I have seen in India, and yet recalling an English tradition — 
the whole of the great gate, as far as a man can reach, is covered 
with ^horse-shoes nailed on the wood of the door, and making a 
curious decoration. 

While I have been busy looking round the wonders of the 

place, my friend G has been out shooting. He was much 

excited on the way here by seeing a herd of antelopes. 

" I am not going to look at ruins, while there is anything to 
shoot," said he ; and off he started, with a shikaree from the 
village, and several coolies. Late in the evening he returned. 

"Well, where is the black buck } " 

" I haven't got any." 

" What ! not a shot " 

" Why, yes," he said ; " I saw one herd, when all my coolies 



6o 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



shouted *Harrin ! harrin ! ' as if they were all stark staring mad, 
and I hadn't got eyes to my head, and of course away they went. 
I let 'em have it, but missed 'em. I caught one of those coolies 
I beckoned to, and cuffed him round a ten-acre lot." 

" Good gracious ! " cried I ; " recollect you are in India, and 
might have ruptured the man's spleen." 

" I did not care," he said. " I was so riled, I * booted ' him, I 
can tell you." 

He is a very good fellow, and most useful at a bargain, only 
sentiment is not his line. 

For myself, I have made two sketches of the Taj, which I hope 
to finish to-morrow, when I return to Agra, and here one sketch. 
I have also drawn many of the patterns here, which will be very 
useful in many ways. 

On Monday, the 22nd January, we returned to Agra, and I 
spent the afternoon again on the Taj. On Tuesday I went to the 
jail, which is one of the best places for the manufacture of carpets 
in India. \ had never been in a prison before. Here they have 
2,400 human beings, all dressed alike. They all squat down as 
you pass, smack their hands, and produce their prison number. 
One poor feeble old fellow was lying in the corner of one of the 
sleeping-huts. Dr. Tyler, the obliging superintendent of the jail, 
touched him with the end of his stick, and he raised his poor old 
hands and pitiful face, crying, " I am cold and ill." Dr. Tyler 
ordered him to be taken to the sun. 

" He is an old prisoner," he said ; " he has been here since 
eighteen thirty-seven." 

Fancy, the year before I was born ! He was a Thug, and con- 
sequently did not benefit by the declaration of the empire, when 
two hundred prisoners were released by the Empress's kindness. 

The carpets here are very good — but too good. As specimens of 
manufacture they would hold their own against any carpets made. 
Dr. Tyler showed us by the backs how well every thread was 
brought home, &c. ; but I was obliged to confess, artistically, 
they were a sad falling off from the carpets of other places, which 
as manufactures were much inferior. I saw some made for 



AGRA. 



6i 



R , K , and others, where the colours were rather crude, 

and the manufacture looked like drugget. This place is one of 
the instances of well-intentioned effort failing from want of artistic 
knowledge. I was informed that the men who were taught 
carpet-making here, when liberated invariably went back to their 
old pursuit, generally agriculture, although they could earn more 
than twice as much by making carpets. 

In one court we passed a man condemned to death for the 
murder of a boy. He was shamming madness, and his gestures 
and cries as he squatted on the ground in the sun (watched by 
two warders and chained heavily) were very weird. He had 
committed an atrocious murder. One could not have much pity 
for such a wretch, but the sight of him continued to haunt me 
all day. 

At twelve I was back again at the Taj, where, by the courtesy 
of the gentleman who looks after the garden, water had been run 
into the straight tanks leading up the central avenue, which have 
been lately dry, owing to their leaking. The long reflections of 
the white marble much improve the magic of the effect. 

The gardens are particularly well managed. There are two 
rose gardens and lawns, quite English, with good turf. Perhaps 
they may be out of place here, but the green must be grateful 
even to the eye of the native, and to the Englishman recalls 
many pleasant places in the old country. Mr. Smith, the gardener, 
showed me one tree, a cotton-tree, which he says was four hundred 
years old, and consequently stood here before the Taj existed. 
Possibly this is so, and Akbar and Shah Jehan feasted and drank 
(they did drink, though Moslems) beneath its shade. Yet here 
it is, green and flowering. What a life ! The tree is 45 feet in 
circumference. 

By eleven o'clock on Tuesday evening we found ourselves in two 
dak gharries^ bumping along towards Gwalior. A dak gharry is an 
extraordinary-looking vehicle, something between a four-wheel 
cab and a hearse. It is painted green, has a double roof, and 
solid blinds instead of glass windows. The centre between the 
seats is boarded up, and the traveller reclines at full length, and 



62 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



sleeps if he can. Into this strange vehicle two little horses are 
harnessed, one in the shafts and one on the near side, and off 
we go at a gallop, while the driver blows a horn to prepare the 
way. They change horses every six miles, and manage to get you 
along, including stoppages, about that distance every hour. On 
the roof your luggage is piled, and your servant with it. It is 
extraordinary how these fellows curl themselves up, and sleep 
anywhere, in balcony or passage. No one ever pays the slightest 
attention to them, and they look like bundles of clothes lying 
about. I am reminded, by finding my bearer in all sorts of 
corners, of the account in St. Simon, of the death of Mon- 
seigneur, eldest son of Louis XIV. He and some others were 
talking rather openly against the lately deceased man, thinking 
no one was by, when one of them touched a bed in the passage 
where they were, and out of it rose a half-dressed Swiss Guard. 
They all hurried away in great fear lest they had been over- 
heard. Well, these fellows, if they understand the language, 
must hear funny things, for they sleep everywhere. 

The road from Agra to Gwalior is not bad, luckily, yet even 
on these roads the jolting of gharry v^d^s such as to "give me 
to think" of the many miles I have to travel thus during the 
next month or two. I slept notwithstanding, but in a fitful way, 
constantly awakened by the wretched too-tooing of the driver's 
horn. At 3.30 we crossed the famous river Chambal, and at 
eight sighted the still more famous port of Gwalior, about which 
so much has been written lately, and at half-past nine reached 
Gwalior itself, from which place I am writing. 



CHAPTER V. 



GWALIOR AND DHOLEPORE. 

26tJi January. 

GWALIOR is the capital of Maharajah Sindia. It may be 
said to consist of three parts — modern Gwalior, which is 
called by the natives Luskar, or The Camp ; the old fort and 
town ; and the cantonments, or Morar. Coming in by dak, we 
stopped at Old Gwalior, on the north of the fort. Here there is 
nothing but a dak bungalow and a few houses. South rises the 
long line of sandstone on which is built the fort, and which is a 
mile and three-quarters in length. We quickly perceived that 
this would not do, had our things re-packed in the gharries, and 
drove to the cantonments, six miles off. Of Luskar, or Gwalior 
town, we saw nothing, except the glitter of Sindia's new palace 
in the distance. We stopped and breakfasted with Sir Henry 
Daly, who is Governor-Generars Agent in Central India, and 
then drove to the dak bungalow, in the cantonments. Sindia 
ought to have put me up at his own dak bungalow, but he ex- 
cused himself by saying that he had lately enclosed it with a 
wall, and that it was now in his women's garden. Altogether, 
the Maharajah has behaved very badly to me. The policy of 
the Government appears to humour him in all things, and I have 
been partly sacrificed, as the sequel shows. 

Morar, where the Europeans live, is a pleasant place enough ; 
the roads are broad and good, the trees shady, and the bungalows 
pleasant. Sir Henry, too, was personally most kind, and invited 
us to dinner. He said that Mohurrum was being celebrated (it 
took place yesterday and to-day), and that he had great difficulty 
in getting the Maharajah to give a sitting for the 25th, but that 

, 03 



64 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



on the 26th it was impossible, as it was Durwaza bund,^ and 
he could see no one during the Mohurrum. I amused myself 
during the day by painting a copy of the head I had begun at 
Delhi, and had got it into a good state to be worked upon the next 
day, Thursday, 25th January, when I was to go with Daly to the 
palace, by appointment, at one o'clock. I had brought a Parsee 
boy from Bombay, who came with a good character, but who 
turned out utterly useless. On Thursday I told him to pack up 
my new picture, and particularly not to take my old one. Off 
we started, and, after half an hour's drive, came to the new 
palace. This has been built by a European in the Maharajah's 
service. It is of considerable extent, and was got ready first for 
the Prince of Wales during his visit. Architecturally it is not a 
triumph, being a base sort of Renaissance ; but it is considered 
something quite extraordinary here, where such things are rare. 
We drive into a courtyard, go up a staircase of marble, and are 
received by Sindia in person. Of all the rajahs, he is most 
powerful, but certainly, of all I have seen, has the least etiquette. 
He is very comic in his own palace, where he looks like a re- 
spectable baboo. The palace itself is an odd jumble of all 
kinds of funny decorations. Hanging from the stairs are lines 
of chandelier-drops. The principal room is a fine large place 
with white and gold decorations, and two enormous chandeliers, 
which cost, they say, ;^2,ooo apiece ; altogether. His Highness 
is great in cut glass. The room is lighted with semicircular 
windows, filled with the common coloured glass which one 
sees in lodging-houses at home. They say the decorations 
(white and gold) were all done here in Gwalior, and that it was 
a wonderful feat. Like Doctor Johnson, I felt inclined to say, 
" Sir, I wish it was not only wonderful, but impossible." Round 
this central room are several handsome apartments, in one of 
which down squats the Maharajah, the courtiers group around, 
and I am to begin. Imagine, then, my horror at finding 
that my brilliant Parsee had left my new picture, and only 

* Durwaza bund means literally " door closed," or as we would say, " not 
at home." 



GWALIOR AND DHOLEPORE. 65 

brought the old one covered with dust, and sunk in! I confess 
I lost my temper as I have not done for a long time, and cursed 
him audibly. If the Maharajah had not been there, I believe I 




HIS HIGHNESS JAIAJI RAO SINDIA, MAHARAJAH OF GWALIOR. 



should have kicked him, and run the chance of rupturing his 
spleen. Here was I, after ten hours' dak and several days' travel, 
with my only chance of painting the great Sindia, and utterly 
unprepared ! 

5 



66 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



I was so angry that I could not work even at my old study. 
Meanwhile, Sir Henry Daly, one of the burr a sahibs of the ser- 
vice, was doing his best to amuse Sindia, and talking of all sorts 
of things. It was too sad. 

Sindia is the worst sitter I have yet had to contend with. He 
is not steady for a moment. " If Sir Henry were not here I 
wouldn't sit at all," he said; also, " This is worse than the hardest 
day's pooja (praying) I ever had ; and after all, what is the use 1 
I don't get anything by it." With all this, however, he was not in 
a bad humour, and laughed a great deal. Meanwhile here was I 
toiling away, I felt, to no purpose. I shall not forget that morn- 
ing, I can tell you. I tried in vain to pull myself together, both for 
Daly's sake and my own, but it would not come. I was obliged 
to say at last, when I saw it was impossible to keep him any 
longer, " There, that will do," with the happy consciousness of 
having made a " mull." 

In the room were two very comic full-length portraits of the 
Maharajah, one by a native, done from a photograph, extra- 
ordinarily worked up to look like a nightmare, and the other by 
Mr. M. W., which looked like a picture from the New Road. 

If anybody in future tries to paint Sindia, let him do it from 
a photograph, for Jaiaji Rao Sindia will, I am convinced, never 
give an artist a chance of painting him from nature. The 
moment Daly said the sitting was over, up jumped the Maha- 
rajah and bolted from the room. 

When talking and animated, Sindia has rather a pleasing face. 
He can be charming and do graceful things. At the Delhi 
Assembly he made a very good speech, which — as it was never, 
I believe, reported — I give from Sir Henry Daly's translation. 
After the Viceroy's address, Sindia had to speak. 

" Are you ready } " said Daly, who was sitting next to him. 
Sindia nodded. " Let it be short, and with plenty in it." 

Up jumped His Highness and said (and I heard every word, 
though, of course, I did not understand) : " Shah-in-Shah, Padi- 
shah ! the Princes of India greet you. May you enjoy long life 
and happiness, and may your Raj last for ever ! " 



GWALIOR AND DHOLEPORE. 



67 



Nevertheless His Highness does not know what is due to an 
artist who has come a hundred miles for a sitting. I am now to 
get a photograph of him in his jewels, and a coat and a hat, from 
which to paint him. 

The first Sindia was slipper-bearer to the first Peishwa. One 
day, so goes the tale, the Peishwa coming out unexpectedly- 
found Ranoji Sindia asleep, with his slippers firmly clutched in 
his arms. Conceiving a high opinion of one who was so faithful 
to a small trust, the Peishwa gave him a post in his body-guard ; 
from which he rose. The Sindias, though so proud now, are 
descended from this slipper-bearer of this Peishwa, who was him- 
self only Prime Minister or rather Mayor of the Palace to the 
descendants of Sivaji. Madaji Rao Sindia, whose genius first 
formed the power of the family, and who was at one time all- 
powerful from Delhi to the Nerbudda, always acknowledged the 
superiority of the Peishwa. On one occasion when the master 
had reason to be dissatisfied with the servant, Sindia suddenly 
appeared at Court. He approached the Peishwa with great 
humility, and said he had never forgotten he was but his slipper- 
bearer. He then stooped, drew off the Peishwa's slippers, and 
furnished him from beneath his clothing with a new pair. The 
old ones he carried away with him : they say they are still at 
Gwalior. It would be well if Jaiaji Rao, the present Sindia, could 
have them presented to him when he is in some of his haughtier 
moods, to remind him of what his ancestors were. 

We were invited with Sir Henry to go with Sindia to see how 
the Mohurrum is kept in Gwalior. We drove to the palace, and 
there took elephant. I do not know what Gwalior, or rather 
Luskar, is by daylight ; by torchlight it is the most picturesque 
thing I have seen. Sindia is a Maratha, and consequently a 
Hindoo by religion. But Marathas have made a compromise 
with Mohammedans, and keep all their feasts, the Mohammedans 
returning the compliment. 

This compromise was made when Madaji Rao first made con- 
quests in Hindostan. Sivaji, the first Maratha sovereign, was 
the starter of the great Hindoo revival that changed the state of 

5—2 



68 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



India ; but his revival was essentially Hindoo, and none but 
Hindoos filled all the offices of trust and command in the new 
Maratha confederacy. Madaji Rao first somewhat broke through 
this rule. Finding so many Moslems, Patans, and Pindarrees 
joining his standard, he trimmed his religion to the breeze of 
fortune. He was always in search of popularity, and never gave 
himself any of the airs of a sovereign, though he was virtually 
much more powerful than the Peishwa he served. Both he and 
Holkar wished to be considered merely potails or head men of 
villages in the Maratha State ; hence it is a common saying in 
Hindostan that ''Madaji Sindia made himself the sovereign of 
an empire by calling himself a potail or head man of a village." 
When the Peishwa was going to war with the English, he wrote 
to Daolut Rao, Madaji 's adopted son and real great-nephew, who 
was supposed to be friendly to the English, "Your father, Madaji 
Sindia, agreeably to the orders of the Sircar (the Peishwa), went 
to Delhi, was made a vizier, and acquired a high reputation. He 
served us with his heart and soul. When you became his suc- 
cessor you entered into an alliance with the English. Thus you 
govern in Hindostan, and thus you show your gratitude. In thus 
serving us it is befitting you to put bangles on your arms, and sit 
down like a woman. After my power is destroyed, is it possible 
yours should stand 

Daolut Rao, when he read the above, was in much distress for 
two hours ; he then went to sleep. But he sent no answer. Daolut 
Rao had none of the great qualities of the son of the slipper- 
bearer. Jaiaji Rao, the present Sindia, is ever a seeker of popu- 
larity. Does he hope to rival Madaji Rao in greatness } Who 
knows } 

Now all was gay in Gwalior. The Mohurrum is, I believe, 
instituted to commemorate the death and martyrdom of Hassan 
and Hosein, the sons of Ali and grandsons of Mahomet. Why 
everybody should be in a state of wild delight I do not know, or 
, why the Hindoos and Moslems alike should build enormous 

* This is from Malcolm's "Central India," a capital and most entertaining 
book. 



GIVALTOR AND DHOLEPORE. 



69 



temples of gold and silver tinsel, at great expense, to be after- 
wards buried or tossed into the river, I have failed to discover. 
Anyhow, everybody was shouting, " tom-toming," and excited, 
and the streets were full of these glittering temples. The Maha- 
rajah on an elephant, preceded by torchbearers, and followed by 
us also on elephant-back, with difficulty worked his way through 
the crowd. Up to the housetops, every place was crowded. Long 
rows of squatting men and women in all kinds of shining drapery 
are the best artistic decoration I know; the houses, too, are most 
picturesque, with many pierced windows and balconies. Besides 
the torchlight, ever and anon some one would fire Bengal lights, 
and show the houses and their many-coloured lines of squatting 
natives to great advantage. " Wah Maharajah Sahib ! " cry the 
natives, and bow to the ground before Sindia. The shroffs or 
money-dealers of Gwalior are said to be the richest in India, and 
accordingly we had the usual barbaric display — coloured glasses 
and cheap pictures, to be found in every well-to-do native's house, 
and on occasions of this kind hung all over the walls outside. 
At the door of each house was its owner, to salaam to his Maha- 
rajah, and many received a greeting from his Highness in return. 
How different this would be in the English states, with their 
cold, unsympathetic rule ! 

At length we come to a kind of place where the elephants are 
wheeled round, and, at a sign from Sindia, a kind of march past 
of these miniature temples begins. How they manage to get 
through the crowd is a wonder, for the whole place, from our 
elephants to the elephants which lined the opposite side, was a 
sea of heads. The turbans were all kinds of colours and shapes, 
and looked, being packed close together, like a box of roses pre- 
pared for a journey. On passed temple after temple, some 20 
feet high, and all turned round before the Maharajah. All too 
were accompanied with tom-toms, drums, horns, and a peculiar 
cymbal worked on a kind of stick with tremendous energy. Before 
some of these temples there went a devotee, who swayed himself 
backwards and forwards, continually crying in an agonized voice, 
Hassan y Hosein ! Hassan, Hosein He was always supported 



70 IMPERIAL INDIA. 

by two men, or he must have fallen. Once the procession stops 
for a curious display of sword dance, and once to show the con- 
tortions of some excellent tumblers; and there Sindia sat for 
hours, — the same Sindia who could not sit ten minutes for his 
picture,— and there we left him to make a night of it. I hear he 
was out again the next day. Verily there is no accounting for 
taste. The scene was one of the most striking sights I have ever 
seen, yet two hours of it and it became somewhat monotonous. 
Temples of tinsel are much alike ; once only we had a variation 
in the shape of a wonderful animal, with the body of a bird and 
the head of a white woman; and once too a case with two figures, 
also white, which looked like women, but possibly might have 
been intended for Hassan and Hosein. 

What the natives enjoyed in the business was the row and 
tomasha. Our servants went out to see it next day, but none of 
them knew what it was all about. One, a Mohammedan, knew 
that some one had died that day, but could not say who it was. 

The architecture here is very curious ; the patterns of the win- 
dows and balconies most original and beautiful. I asked Daly 
whether it would be possible to get any made like them. He said 
Jeypore was the place to see such things, and as everybody says 
the same thing, I must wait till I get to Jeypore. I was dis- 
appointed of my carriage on Friday, and spent the day trying 
to relieve my mishap of Thursday, and make something of a 
portrait from memory and from what I had already done. I 
think I have somehow painted something recognizable. 

On Saturday again the carriage promised by Sindia did not 
come, which was too bad. Yesterday he sent to say that all the 
carriages had been out all night at the Mohurrum, but that excuse 
, could not apply to to-day. There was to be a garrison meeting 
and sports in the afternoon, called the Sindia Sports, as Sindia 
had given the prizes, and this, with rage in my heart, I had re- 
solved to attend. His Highness was there, and as it was the first 
time for five years that he had been into the cantonments, he 
was well received. I had determined to start that night for 
Dholepore, my next rajah; but as Sindia said he would certainly 



GWALIOR AND DHOLE PORE. ^ 7 1 

sit for his photo the next day, and promised also to send a 
carriage to take us to, and elephants to take us over, the fort, 
I relented. 

The sports were but poor fun, the only good show being the 
tent-pegging and camel race. I had never seen tent-pegging 
before. It is a fine sport, and well worth seeing, though I believe 
the fellows here do not do it so well as the Punjaubees. The 
race of the day for Sindia's cup was a mile race, open to Euro- 
peans and natives. To the surprise of all, natives were first and 
second ; the third was an artilleryman. He was much done on 
reaching the post, and could only gasp and point to the winner. 
It turned out that No. i had quietly sat down half-way, and 
joined the runners on their return journey, and that there were 
great doubts as to whether 'No. 2 had been round the post. 
Verily the native is a slippery and artful being. 

2^th. — At 7 a.m. the promised carriage arrived, and off we 
started. At the foot of the hill we took elephant. Gwalior 
fort is approached by a very steep incline, with several gates. 
On the top is a very fine old palace, with curious decorations, 
consisting of bands of blue, green, and yellow tiles let into the 
stones ; one band is composed of ducks and geese, and one has 
occasional elephants. The whole is much out of repair. The 
perpendicular sides of the great rock on which is the fort (for for- 
tifications proper there are none) are much carved. Many temples 
are hollowed out, and there are some colossal figures, showing, 
as one might expect from its situation, that it was a stronghold 
and place of residence in most remote ages. On the plateau, 
at the top, there are two temples very highly decorated and 
most interesting from the sculptures on them, which are full of 
" go." * There are also several tanks. The British have marred 
the whole by their abominable barracks. 

This fortress of Gwalior was used as a state prison by the 
Moguls. It was here that the unsuccessful competitors for the 

* There is a very full description of the temples and architecture of Gwalior 
in Rousselet's " Rajahs of India." He attributes all the buildings to the 
Jains, who were no doubt the great builders of India. 



72 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



imperial throne were consigned to a lingering death. Bernier, 
who was an eye-witness, describes the interview between Soliman 
Chekouh, the son of Dara, Aurungzebe's elder brother, and the 
Emperor. It must be remembered that Dara had been defeated, 
hunted down, and killed shortly before. 

" Aurungzebe, that nobody might doubt it was Soliman Che- 
kouh himself, commanded him to be brought before him in the 
presence of all the grandees of the Court. At the entry of the 
gate the chains were taken from his feet, leaving those he had 
about his hands, which seemed gilt. When this proper young 
man, so handsome and gallant, was seen to enter, there were a 
good number of omrahs that could not hold their tears ; and, as 
I was informed, all the great ladies of the Court that had leave 
to see him come in, fell a-weeping. Aurungzebe, who appeared 
himself to be touched at his misfortunes, began to speak very 
kindly to him and to comfort him ; telling him, amongst other 
things, to fear nothing, that no hurt should be done to him ; 
that he had caused his father to be put to death for no other 
reason than that he had turned kafir, and a man without reli- 
gion. Whereupon this young prince returned him the salaam 
and blessed him, abasing his hands to the earth, and lifting 
them as well as he could up to his head, after the custom of his 
country ; and told him, with resolution enough, that if he were 
to drink ponst, he entreated him that he might die presently, 
being very willing to submit to his fate. But Aurungzebe pro- 
mised him publicly that he should drink none of it, that he 
should rest satisfied of that, and not entertain any sad thoughts 
about it. This being said, he once more repeated the salaam^ 
and was sent to Gwalior with the rest. This poust is nothing 
else than poppy expressed and infused a night in water. And 
it is that potion which those that are kept at Gwalior are com- 
monly made to drink ; I mean those princes whose heads they 
think not to cut off. This is the first thing that is brought them 
in the morning, and they have nothing given them to eat till 
they have drunk a great cupful of it ; and they would rather let 
them starve. This emaciates them exceedingly, and maketh 



GWALIOR AND DHOLEPORE. 



73 



them die insensibly, they losing little by little their understand- 
ing, and growing torpid and senseless. And by this means it is 
said that Sepe Chekouh and the grandchild of Morad Baksh, and 
Soliman Chekouh, were dispatched. Morad Baksh," Bernier pro- 
ceeds to say, "was thought so dangerous that his head was given 
to the family of a certain Syed, or descendant of Mahomet, who 
had himself suffered death by order of the unfortunate Morad, 
when Governor of * Amadevat ' (Ahmedabad). This retributive 
justice was carried out in Gwalior." What other tales of smaller 
victims to imperial policy these walls could tell ! And if they 
were given up to Sindia, to what use would they be put t Surely 
the most innocent things ever imprisoned in Gwalior are those 
45 -pounders shut up in store, but ready for use, should occasion 
require it 1 

As a fortress against a civilized foe, Gwalior would be of little 
use, since it could be bombarded from at least two sides from 
adjacent hills, and there are, as I said above, no real fortifications. 
Its only strength is from its position, rising as it does from the 
plain, with only two possible ways of entering; also from the fact 
that neither Sindia nor any other rajah has artillery of sufficient 
calibre to silence the 40-pounders we have there. No wonder 
it is a sore thorn in the poor Maharajah's side, for it commands 
not only his palace, but the new town of Gwalior (Luskar), and it 
would be easy to destroy either in half an hour. 

At 2 p.m. I was punctually at the palace, and found Bulwant 
Rao (Sindia's natural son, and a very good lad, who talks English), 
with his photographic machine ready. 

While waiting for Sindia to put on his jewels, I had the honour 
of being photographed myself, and, judging from the negative, 
the result was pretty successful. 

I have been anxious to get a turban, or piigree, of the Ma- 
harajah's, and a coat; but Bulwant Rao informed me that he 
thought there was a religious prejudice against giving any such 
things. Presently in comes Sindia; he was in a capital temper, and 
I had a long conversation with him, and finally, on my leaving, 
I received my turban from my friend Bulwant Rao, with an inti- 



74 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



mation that the Maharajah, as a special mark of favour, gave it 
to me to show the people of England how the Marathas were 
dressed. 

I saw some of Sindia's jewels, diamonds, with very fine inlaid 
work at the back, which inlay is generally supposed to be the 
speciality of Jeypore. Sindia, however, assured me that it was 
all done here in Gwalior, but that the process was a secret. 
Altogether, I was more pleased with His Highness on this visit 
than I expected. He is very fond of children : one little chap 
of about five came up and saluted him, and the Maharajah's face 
quite lit up. It is a pity he came to the throne so soon, and had 
no education. 

Some months after this I was painting the Rajah of Nabha 
Sikh. He sat beautifully, so well that I said, "You sit much 
better than Maharajah Sindia, who said sitting was harder than 
the hardest day's pooja!' 

Nabha laughed, and said, " It was not sitting Sindia found so 
unpleasant, it was being obliged to sit." 

Nabha was no doubt right. In my experience of great rajahs, 
I always found my position, as accredited painter to the Govern- 
ment, led to my being viewed with suspicion. This, of course, 
should not be. But rajahs are but children. 

To-morrow morning I go to Dholepore. 

2(^th January. 

Dholepore is a small strip of country about eighty miles by 
thirty, lying along the river Chambal, which divides it from 
Gwalior. Originally, the Rana of Dholepore possessed a large 
tract, called Gohad, on the farther side of the Chambal ; but 
Madaji Rao Sindia and his descendants annexed it during the 
Maratha troubles. There is, therefore, no love lost between the 
Rana of Dholepore and Sindia, and this hereditary enmity has 
been increased by the fact that when the Enghsh took Gwalior 
Fort, they handed it over to the charge of the ancestor of the 
present Rana. 

Dholepore is thirty miles from Gwalior on the Agra road. It 



GWALIOR AND DHOLEPORE. 



75 



took us five hours to reach it, and we found a hearty welcome in 
Major Dennehy, the political agent, and his family, whose hospi- 
tality is proverbial through this part of India. 

The Rana is a small boy of thirteen, who speaks English as 
well as an English boy, and runs about the Dennehys' house as 
if he were one of their children. He is not pretty, having a very 
retreating chin and rather projecting teeth, but he is very intelli- 
gent, with a great feeling for humour. Altogether, he is a very 
attractive boy, and we got on splendidly together. 

Of Dholepore I have very little to say, as the town is poor and 
squalid, with no good buildings. There is a good tomb of one of 
Akbar's generals, Sadik Mohammed Khan ; and a curious tank, 
supplied by a spring, which is said to have sprung up at the 
bidding of Krishna ; it is consequently surrounded with temples, 
and is considered a very holy place. 

The little Rana tried to give us some cheetah hunting, but it 
would not come off, as, when we found deer (and they were scarce 
enough), we could not get the cheetah, and of course vice versd. 

The Dennehys live in truly patriarchal style. Their home at 
present is the place which, when the Rana grows up and comes to 
his own, will be used as a durbar house. The house, therefore, is 
really one large room. In this room are found during the day all 
kinds of sirdars and officers waitmg for an audience, and among 
all romps the little Rana. 

Three years ago, when we undertook the management of 
Dholepore, he was a sickly lad, who required three men to hold 
him on horseback : now he is strong and healthy, rides to hounds 
which he hunts himself, plays polo, and is up to any fun. His 
mother, the ruling Ranee, is a sister of the late Rajah of Puttiala. 
At first she objected to the English education for her son, but 
being a reasonable woman (fancy that !), she has quite given in ; 
and, except when eating and sleeping, the boy is always at the 
Dennehys'. The difficulty is to get him to go home at all. If 
he had been left to his mother and Indian ways, he would have 
been married, and quite ruined in health and mind ; so in some 
things we English have done some good. 



76 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



The Ranee has a curious history. She was married at twelve 
to the son of the then reigning Rana of Dholepore, a boy of the 
same age, and took an extreme dislike to her husband at first 
sight ; indeed, the first interview between them resulted in a 
fight, and the high priest had to be called in to separate them. 
A marriage begun under such unfavourable auspices could not, 
of course, be expected to turn out well. Luckily, the father-in- 
law became very fond of the Ranee, and took her part. Now, 
the lady had brought from Puttiala thirteen ladies of honour, 
and on one of them the husband fixed his amorous eyes. The 
Ranee was furious, and such a row ensued that she was sent in 
disgrace to a fort, which was to be a prison, some distance off. 
From this she contrived to escape to Puttiala, and there the boy 
was born. The Rana {phe) was naturally anxious to have the 
charge of his grandchild and heir, but the lady was resolute, and 
only consented to return when her woman (the favoured of her 
husband) should be given up to her. The husband yielded ; 
the lady returned ; and the favoured one was sent to the fort 
instead of the wife. She took the precaution of cooking her own 
food, poor woman ; but, curiously enough, died three days after- 
wards. It is curious, too, that the present Rana succeeded his 
grandfather. 

This is only one of the stories of the Zenana that I have heard. 
Fancy what a world of intrigue it must be, and a world into 
which no man able to record its life, with its passions, joys, and 
tears, has ever been able fairly to penetrate. Unhappily, most 
of these Indian ladies are too uneducated to write their ex- 
periences. 

Early marriages are the curse of the country. Husband and 
wife are both children ; they have, of course, never met before 
marriage, and are often weary of each other before either has 
arrived at the age when Europeans marry. I was pointed out a 
young fellow of seventeen who had been a father three years ! 
Of course children of such marriages are far from strong. The 
lady's only anxiety is to keep the matrimonial couch from any 
lawful rival, and she encourages all other peccadilloes so long as 



GWALIOR AND DHOLEPORE. 



77 



she is not disturbed in her supremacy in the Zenana. The in- 
trigues by which all this is kept up are wonderful. The follow- 
ing story is worth recording as trait des mcettrs, even at the risk 
of offending not only the high and mighty persons therein con- 
cerned, but the Indian Government. 

A great Maharajah, then, had once a favourite, of whom, in the 
course of time, he grew tired. To save expense, she was allowed 
to return to her relatives, with a small pension. There she at- 
tracted the attentions of a worthy baboo;^^ who married her. The 
husband was a sharp fellow, and rose in the Government service. 
Meanwhile the Maharajah heard that his quondam favourite was 
married, and being worked on by his courtiers to consider himself 
insulted, he started, with a small retinue, and incog. ^ for the city 
where the fair one resided with her baboo husband, in order to 
bring her back. The lady, however, heard of his coming, and 
received him with shut doors. In vain His Highness tried to 
persuade her, by promises, to return to him ; probably she knew 
what would be her fate, and she remained firm. He then tried 
threats, and proceeded to batter down the door. But the husband 
was by, and had taken the precaution to have some police handy, 
and the Maharajah was actually taken prisoner to the police 
station. He was of course recognized, and escaped in disgrace, 
after having been soundly rated by the representative of the 
English Government. 

These princes are all like boys, and spend their whole time in 
trying to aggrandize themselves and improve their position, not 
in an open way, but by intrigues. Of course there are honourable 
exceptions. 

One of these was Puttiala, and this is how he was said to have 
ended his days: — He was very popular, and was thought to be 
quite above all his fellows,— in fact, quite English at heart. Well, 
he had one European fault, a weakness for brandy. He invented 
a drink, which goes by the name of the Puttiala Peg,t consisting 
of half champagne, half brandy ; and this you may imagine had 

* Hindoo gentleman of the middle class. 

t A Peg is in India ordinarily composed of brandy and soda-water. The 



78 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



very rapid action in this country ; and if the Maharajah had not 
delirium tremens, he had something so very like it that he may 
be said to have lost all control over his actions. He imprisoned 
a number of people without any reason ; he is said to have 
killed his wife, the mother of his children, — but of this I have no 
proof, — and finally he died from some disease brought on, as the 
English doctors say, by drink, but the natives firmly believe by 
poison. It is curious how very seasonably many chief swells die 
here. Probably toxicology is practiced in other places than 
Baroda.* At Dholepore rriuch native prejudice has been broken 
down by the open style of living practised by Major Dennehy. 
Not only is the Rana always there, but even the high priest is 
constantly to be seen playing at Indian backgammon, and 
otherwise making himself at home. It would have done some 
fox-hunting parsons good to have seen the reverend gentleman 
on a strong nag out cheetah hunting ; and I have even seen him 
playing at lawn tennis. The Rajah's constant attendant is a high- 
classed Brahmin called Gopi, who acts as his Master of the Horse, 
and not only goes out hunting, but looks after the hounds, and 
"whips." He is, moreover, a most merry and obliging person. 
The day we went out cheetah hunting, owing to the stupidity 
of my servant, I had not been called before sunrise, and while I 
was at my early toilet, who should appear but His Highness and 
Gopi, and the Brahmin actually buttoned my braces for me ! 
Yet the Ranee, when asked why she did not show herself to the 
world, said, " I have no objection myself, but I am afraid. My 
brother (Puttiala) would probably kill me." 

We had an audience with her in the palace, if palace it can be 
called. We were taken to a small verandah, opening into which 

name is supposed to imply that every time it is imbibed a peg is driven into 
your coffin. 

* Every compound or garden has growing in it the datura, a most deadly 
poison, whose effects depend on the quantity used. Many people are drugged 
with this, and, losing all command over themselves, are robbed with impunity. 
One case I heard of where several men had been robbed ; it was being in- 
vestigated while I was at Ulwar. The men recovered from the effects of the 
poison after a time, but were quite out of their minds for some days. 



GWALIOR AND DHOLEPORE. 



79 




HIS HIGHNESS THE RANA OF DHOLEPORE. 



were two pierced windows, and a door on which hung a thick 
wadded silk purdah or hanging. On each side of one of the 
windows were placed chairs ; inside the window was quite dark ; 
probably there, too, was a purdah. Major Dennehy talked 
through the window, and presently a voice answered. It sounded 
like a sweet voice ; but even Ranees suffer from cold, and a 
"snuffle" would destroy the voice of a Grisi. 

Mrs. Dennehy says she is very handsome and regal in her 
manner, and also full of talent. Fancy such a woman spending 
her whole life behind a thick curtain ! 



So 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



Native women are, amongst themselves, tremendous gamblers, 
and spend most of their time at backgammon or cards. 

I painted a tolerable study of the little Rana, of which even the 
Ranee expressed her approval, and on ist February left Dhole- 
pore with great regret. It has been quite a contrast from the 
difficulties I had with Sindia, to find here a Rajah who asked 
me to fix my own time, and sat well. The Dennehys, too, were 
most civil and hospitable, and seemed to have brought the 
customs of Ould Ireland to the wilds of Rajpootana. 



CHAPTER VI. 



BHURTPORE AND JEYPORE. 



^ifd Fchniary. 



N arriving at Agra I found a telegram from the Maharajah 



of Bhurtpore, asking me to come to Deeg to paint him. 
As Deeg is one of the curiosities of this part of India, and only 
twenty-one miles from Bhurtpore Station, I was not sorry to have 
the chance of seeing it. We left Agra by the 6 a.m. train, and 
travelled by the Rajpootana Railway, which is one of the new- 
fashioned narrow-gauge lines said to be singularly adapted for 
India. If slowness forms a qualification, surely the narrow gauge 
is well qualified, for we were really three hours going thirty-two 
miles ! 

At Bhurtpore we were met by a vakeel of the Maharajah's, 
who took us to his dak bungalow to breakfast. A dak bungalow 
is one of the institutions of India. It is generally a well-built 
house, with tolerably clean rooms, each room having an outer 
room for washing, &c., and as furniture, a table, two arm-chairs, 
always of the same cane-bottomed pattern, and a cJiarpoy or 
Indian bed — a frame of webbing on four short legs. None of 
the dak bungalows I have seen have more furniture. To one 
just arrived from England all this is desolate in the extreme, but 
one gets used to it, and in this climate what more do you want } 

A gharry was quickly produced, and, followed by an escort of 
two sowars, as became the guest of a maharajah, off we started. 

I regret that I have not been able to examine Bhurtpore more 
at my ease. We passed the celebrated mud walls from which 
alone in all India British troops were repulsed, drove through 
some well-to-do and well-attended bazaars, and that is all I saw 




81 



6 



82 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



of the town. Then out we went into the usual plain. All this 
part of Hindostan is the same parched arid plain, interspersed 
with patches of green, where corn is already in ear, or where the 
ground has been artificially irrigated. Here in Bhurtpore the 
monotony is pleasantly relieved by the size of some of the trees 
near the road, and by the villages being raised, artificially I fancy, 
and surrounded by mud walls. The inhabitants of this part of 
the country are Jats, and have always been husbandmen. They 
are of the same caste as the Sikhs. A short, truculent, sturdy race 
they have always proved, and seem so still. Much trouble have 
they caused both to Mogul and British in times gone by. In- 
creasing in might during the confusion of the later Mogul empire, 
under Suraj Mul Bhurtpore was a most formidable state. But 
the paramount Power has been too much for them : their territory 
has been curtailed, and however much they might wish it, Agra 
is safe against their malice. For some years, however, it was in 
their hands ; and I have told you before how one of their rajahs 
treated the tomb of poor Mumtaz-i-Mahal in the Taj. 

With the Maharajah's horses, and amidst the salaams of the 
Jats, the twenty-one miles from Bhurtpore to Deeg were soon 
passed, and three hours brought us to historic ground. There 
have been two battles at Deeg or Digh, and both have been de- 
cisive in the history of India. Once the conquering Jats were 
overthrown by the last general the Mohammedan empire pro- 
duced ; and again. Lord Lake, in what he thought his hardest 
battle, vanquished the ancestor of my friend Holkar, and checked 
the tide of Maratha victory. There is still a considerable fortress 
with mud walls, which must have been very formidable before 
the science of artillery was developed ; and I could see on the 
ramparts some odd-looking guns, which have probably been 
there since the time of Nujuf Khan. Past these we drove, and 
stopped at the palace gate. 

The Palace of Deeg is a collection of pavilions, like all native 
palaces ; but these are scattered about in spacious gardens, 
bounded on two sides by considerable tanks. One of these the 
Maharajah sets apart for his guests, and here we are now. The 



BHURTPORE AND JEYPORE. 



83 



Maharajah is most hospitable ; he readily receives here any 
officers from Muttra, where there is an English cavalry regiment, 
and provides them with sport in his preserves, which are full of 
wild boar and deer. Neilghau (wild blue bulls) and peacocks 
are sacred, and must be spared. Pigs are, of course, sacred to 
the cavalry officer under ordinary circumstances ; but at Bhurt- 
pore the woods are so thick that pig-5ticking is impossible. 

In front of us is the pavilion, where his Highness holds his 
durbar ; on our right is his Zenana. Both these are built of the 
sandstone of the country — not, alas ! the beautiful red sandstone 
of Futtehpore Sikree, but a pale pink, which is rather sickly in 
tone. The pavilion we live in is of white marble. 

Deeg is a summer palace. In the summer heats white marble 
floors and walls, and doors impossible to shut, would be nice 
enough ; and there are pavilions hanging over the placid tanks, 
which must be cool and delightful in the hot season. 

To-day has been grey and decidedly cold, and whilst I am 
writing, the well-known splash of rain reminds me of "other 
climes," and I feel marble out of place. The rooms are very low, 
and surrounded with funny little passages, through which my 
bulky frame can with difficulty pass. There is, however, a sense 
of " rummyness," not unmixed with romance, about it all, that is 
delightful ; and after the shabby treatment I experienced from 
Sindia, I feel thankful to His Highness of Bhurtpore. 

The Maharajah announced his intention of coming himself to 
see me on the very evening of my arrival, and, notwithstanding 
the rain, was as good as his word. Wrapped up in a thick police- 
man's coat, with a common sword sticking out behind, the Maha- 
rajah does not present a very distinguished appearance. He is 
a young man, I believe, but he looks much older than he is, and 
has a worn-out appearance. If report speaks true, he is a very 
naughty boy, and much given to debauchery. He is also accused 
of being unfriendly to the English, and, like Sindia, too fond of 
soldiering. I can only say he was most polite and friendly, and 
offered me as many sittings as I wished. We shall see how he 
will redeem his promise. 

6 — 2 



84 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



Next morning was fine, and I had another opportunity of 
seeing the gardens. There are, as I said, four paviHons, Gopal 
Bawhun, where the Maharajah transacts his business ; Sudra 
Bawhun, where we live ; Krishna Bawhun, where the ladies are 
cooped up ; and Nuno Bawhun, of the inhabitants of which I 
know nothing. There is also a kind of open summer-house, called 
Sawun Bawhun, looking over the sacred tank. The whole thing 




TANK AT DEEG. 



was built by Suraj Mai, one of the earliest Rajahs of Bhurtpore, 
and the first to take that title. I have begun two sketches, one 
looking down the principal walk (which is a kind of imitation 
of the Taj), towards the Sawun Bawhun, and the other of the 
largest tank : the latter is really a wonderful place, frequented 
by innumerable blue pigeons, which here, as in Venice, are sacred. 
There are also many peacocks strutting about : they are sacred 
to Khrishna, as indeed are all blue things ; Khrishna himself 
being represented as a blue man. 

I had a good sitting from His Highness. He was very polite. 



BHURTPOKE AND JEYPORE. 



85 



and, as he talked English, I could keep him amused. I had 
hard work, however, for it was after breakfast, and he was very 
dozy at first. 

The learned say that these Jats are relations of ours, being 
the same as the Getae and Massagetae of the ancients, and Jutes of 
Europe, who settled, many of them, in England in early Saxon 
times. It may be so ; but I am inclined to say, as Spurgcon 
said when lecturing on the gorilla, "Some say you are my cousin, 
but I say, * between you and me there is a great gulf fixed.' " 
Anyhow, Deeg is a delightful place, and I wish his English 
cousins had as pleasant a palace as the Maharajah of Bhurtpore. 

I have but httle to add to the above, and this must be but a 
small batch of journal. It has to close two days before the • 
usual time, and as I get farther from the great highways of India 
my time will get shorter and shorter. 

My Maharajah here is done as far as I require him. On the 
whole, he has behaved very well. He has bothered me a great 
deal to know what the Government are going to give him for 
sitting, whether he is to have a copy (great Heavens !) of the 
picture, or an engraving. Most of these gentlemen have sub- 
scribed, and it is rather hard that I should have to explain to 
them that they get nothing for their money. 

We left Deeg, as we came, with the Maharajah's horses, and 
escorted by his Highness's sozvars. This season appears to be 
the season for marriages. All day the singing-women are chant- 
ing about, and, preceded by tom-toms, conduct the well-veiled 
bride to the — let us hope — impatient bridegroom. It was very^ 
pleasant as we drove along, both here and at Bhurtpore, to come 
upon a flash of crimson and scarlet, a kind of flame of singing- 
women, whose monotonous chant in itself had something in 
character with the scene. Thus we sped on to Bhurtpore, chang- 
ing horses at Koombhere, a considerable place, conveniently half- 
way ; where, too, the Maharajah has a palace, which towers over 
the town. 

We had an opportunity of seeing more at our leisure the town 
of Bhurtpore. It seems well-to-do and flourishing, with broad 



86 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



streets, and good stone-built houses the whole length of its 
crowded bazaar. There was nothing, however, to tempt me in 
the shops, and I had not time to devote to searching. Hindoo 
shopkeepers, like all Easterns — except Jews, by-the-bye — and 
unlike European tradesmen, seem to have a great dislike to show 
any of their best things. You have to go into the shop, talk 
of the weather, &c., and by degrees things are brought to you. 
Everything takes time here, as I know to my cost in travelling. 

At Bhurtpore, too, we saw the Rajah's palace, which consists 
of a large courtyard with buildings on two sides. Facing you, 
as you enter, is the open dewan, where the Maharajah holds his 
Court on grand occasions. On the left is a staircase conducting 
you to the show-rooms, which are on the first floor of the left 
block as you come into the courtyard. 

The principal room is a long gallery, with windows looking into 
the court. Behind this are many smaller rooms — dining, draw- 
ing, and billiard-rooms — all darkened and having few windows 
on account of the heat, but profusely furnished with European 
carpets and knick-knacks of the most tawdry kind. In the long 
gallery there are lots of pictures and prints ; a colossal daub 
of the late Highness, done like " Carver in oils " by a native, 
and several others of the same Highness in many attitudes — in 
dtirbar, on horseback, &c. — all equally monstrous. One of the 
present Rajah, by Mr. M. W., I believe, is better (owing to the 
invention of photography, I fancy), but still pretty bad. There 
are four large prints — all the same — of Mr. Batty driving his six- 
teen horses to his circus, and many other pictures of that kind. 

These people, directly they touch European tastes, seem to 
lose their inherent feeling for the right thing. The worst 
" shoddy" is not so bad as the masses of objects heaped together 
in their palaces ; yet they have beautiful things, and dress them- 
selves with some feeling for colour, barring a taste for aniline 
dyes which I see growing all over the country. Is it, perchance, 
that they see so little good taste among the Europeans out here, 
whom of course they copy If so, the Europeans have much 
to answer for. 



BHURTPORE AND JEYPORE. 



87 



Leaving Bhurtpore by the 10 p.m. train, you arrive at Jeypore 
at 8 a.m. The morning of the 8th broke with unusual splendour ; 
for lately there has been cloudy weather, and to make either a 
good sunrise or sunset you must have clouds. "Towards six 
o'clock in the evening or morning chrome yellow thrusts itself 
into nature," lectured the French landscape painter. On the 8th 
there was both chrome and madder mapped out on the blue sky ; 
and, moreover, such hills as I have not seen for a long time. A 
solitary ridge there is at Delhi, and at Gwalior the fort and a 
few low hills have more pretension. These at Jeypore are the 
beginning of the range which I shall find again at Ajmere, and 
farther on between Jodhpore and Oodeypore, and which form 
the backbone of the plains of India. 

The acting political agent, a certain Captain B y, was on the 

eve of his departure for England on sick leave. He had never 
answered my letter, and I did not know whether the Rajah of 
Jeypore was here till I arrived. At the station, however, I found 

a carriage, and drove to breakfast with B . I heard that 

the Bundi Maharajah was here, and that he of Jeypore could 
not sit that day. Rajahs have been much stirred up by the 
Delhi business, and are on the trot all over the country. Like 
muddy water, they require time to settle. Jeypore is very reli- 
gious, and takes all the morning to say his prayers : he can only 
be seen at 4 p.m., said the agent. I had found the last two 
mail-letters here, so I was content to wait and digest the home 
news, which proved not very good, and I was therefore not in 
the cheeriest mood. 

I spent the afternoon in reading and making arrangements for 
future journeys. The Oodeypore agent is away travelling through 
the Bheel country, in Mew^ar. Jodhpore must therefore be done 
first, and has to be written to to prepare ddk, &c. While writing 
my letters I hear the most extraordinary sounds, which I find 
proceed from a man who has the next room to mine. Once 
he appeared in the verandah in his shirt-sleeves, and quickly 
disappeared. These roarings continued, and by-and-by I find 
they are principally demands for brandy-and-soda. By the 



88 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



evening Mr. is in a state of complete inebriation ; but alas ! 

his drunkenness is not speechless : I wish it had been, for all 
night long the roaring continued, and at 6 a.m. the noise was 

awful. Thank Heaven ! it was Mr. preparing to depart, and 

demanding more "Pegs and so he remains in my memory as a 
kind of ''hideous noise." 

Such are the trials the traveller is subjected to here, where 
brandy pawnee and D. T. are anything but uncommon among 
the lower class of Europeans. 

On Friday, 9th February, I went to see the sights of Jeypore. 
The political agent had applied for a carriage for me, and last 
night a common palki gharry appeared from the Maharajah. I 
returned my thanks to His Highness, and told him I could get a 
better one here, and preferred to pay. This morning, however, 
a better trap with two horses turned up. Rajahs have fine 
carriages for swell occasions, but those they lend are of the 
shabbiest description, nor have they any idea of turning out either 
carriages or servants. This one was like the flies one sometimes 
sees at country towns, which are traps bought second or third- 
hand, but which have once been handsome and probably belonged 
to some neighbouring squire. In this '* has-been " off we go. 

Jeypore* was built early last century by the then Rajah Jey 
Sing. It is, I believe, the only Indian town built on a settled 
plan, for Jey Sing was not only a rajah, but a mathematician 
and a scientific man. The city was planned actually by a certain 
Vidhyadhur, a Jain, who also assisted the Rajah in his astrono- 
mical pursuits. It has, then, two broad straight streets, crossing 
each other at right angles. They have pavements on either side, 
and gas (!) which the present ruler has introduced and manu- 
factures from castor oil. The houses have a curious appearance, 
the fronts being all plastered, and painted pink with white pat- 
terns. This gives a rather trumpery and toylike appearance 
to the whole town, which from its size and regularity lacks the 
charm and picturesqueness of many Indian places I have de- 
scribed. When the eye gets used to the colour it is not unpleasing ; 

* The foLincUilion was laid by jey Sing, A.D. 1728. 



BHURTPORE AND JEYPORE. 



89 



and, after all, I do not know but that the Rajah Jey Sing was 
right ; for in this climate, had all the houses been white, the effect 
would have been too dazzling. The lime from which this plaster 
is made is the same employed for the roads all over Northern 
India, known as kunkitr, and is singularly fine. The plaster has 
almost the look of marble, and is used for making all kinds of 
pierced windows of geometric patterns. I have not, however, 
seen any that equalled those of Gwalior for beauty and intricacy 
of design, and regret much that I believed those who told me 
Jeypore was the place to find such things, and dissuaded me 
from ordering a whole balcony from Sindia's city. 

Jeypore has a school of art, and being of course much interested 
therein, I stopped there, and was shown over by the principal — a 
worthy and well-to-do baboo.'^ It turned out to be a kind of 
general school for trades ; and turning, watchmaking, carpentry, 
pottery, electrotyping, and many others are taught there. So far, 
no doubt, it does-good, but there' is also a school of drawing, and 
over this I should wish to cast a veil. Of all the feeble insti- 
tutions here, it is the feeblest. The master is an Indian ; the 
things turned out, so many nightmares : large copies of photo- 
graphs of the Prince of Wales, Lord Northbrook and other 
Governors-General, with the ghastly stare such things have 
when done by beginners ; drawings done from nature without 
an atom of art : in fact, a perfect artistic Bedlam. The baboo, 
however, seemed satisfied, which is a great point. He showed us 
with considerable triumph some small heads copied in needle- 
work from photographs. Poor Lord Northbrook ! if he could 

* It may be indiscreet to give the history of ihis gentleman's appointment : 
I may give offence to some of his relatives, who are high up in the public 
service of Jeypore ; but the appointment is so characteristic of the way such 
things are done in India that I cannot refrain from recording it. Our excel- 
lent friend, then, was sent to Calcutta to study medicine ; but for medicine 
he had no turn, and time after time was plucked in his examinations. At last 
he returned to Jeypore as a failure, and by the interest of his relatives was 
put in charge of the newly-started art school. " prop-e a rieii, fats 
toi artiste^' exclaims the exasperated mother in Gavarni's inimitable carica- 
ture. 



90 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



only see himself, he would not, in his recent speech at a dis- 
tribution of prizes in England, have been so laudatory of Indian 
schools of design. 

The only good thing in the place was a silver goblet, un- 
finished, which G has bought, and of which I have ordered 

a replica.* In encouraging individuals who are good workmen 
to take pupils, as is done here, the Maharajah has done the right 
thing. It is what I should propose in my report on the influence 
of English art on natives. Art schools as we have them in 
England are of no real use to the native. Government should 
look out the best workmen in different art manufactories, and 
spend the money now spent in making indifferent artists in pay- 
ing premiums to such workmen, and creating thereby a good 
school of ornamental art. 

I was disappointed of my sitting again to-day, and, owing to 
the dilatoriness of my friend at the Residency, who is a good 
deal exercised on the great salt question, which at present agi- 
tates all this portion of Rajpootana, I was not given timely 
notice, so that another day has passed sine lined, or nearly so. I 
went, however, to the Residency, and was introduced to the 
Maharajah, who was paying a visit there. Ram Sing of Jeypore 
is about forty-five, and wears spectacles. He seems a cheery 
old fellow, and was very civil, fixing a sitting at 2.30 p.m. to- 
morrow, when I shall have an opportunity of seeing him more at 
my leisure. 

loth February. 

This morning I went over Jeypore again. It is certainly a very 
interesting place, and the busiest Indian town I have yet been 
in. Behind our hotel, which is outside the town, are a number 
of poor wretches encamped. These I find to be the sweepers of 
the city, who have all struck on account of some ill usage alleged 
to have been received from the authorities. They all crowded 
round me, and humbly begged me to do something for them. 

* Which, of course, I have never received. 



BHURTPORE AND JEYPORE. 



91 



Such is the belief in the sahib justice. They are now lying in 
miserable bundles round the walls of our compound. The Prime 
Minister was for imprisoning the whole lot, but the Maharajah 
said " No, that will cost money : better to imprison the leaders 
only." And so trades unions and strikes exist, you see, in Jey- 
pore, and I fear will avail but little. Meanwhile the streets have 
been unswept for three days. 

In the afternoon I went by appointment to paint the Maharajah. 
Jeypore Palace is a vast pile, said to contain three thousand per- 
sons. The late Maharajah and his predecessor left twenty-seven 
widows between them, each of whom is attended by many women : 
the present man has seven wives ; and the result is all this swarm 
of human beings living unproductively. Ram Sing, the present 
Rajah, has no children. He is, as I said above, very religious, and 
spends regularly from ten to four at pooja or prayers. He had 
appointed half-past two with me, and about that time I appeared. 
I had great difficulty in getting in, as all the attendants said the 
Maharajah was still at pooja. Finally I was ushered through 
many dark passages into a courtyard, where there were a dozen 
fellows with hawks ; from that again to another court, and then up 
some steps, when I found myself in a comfortable room, where the 
Maharajah spends his leisure time photographing. Praying during 
the lightest hours of the day, he can have but little time for any- 
thing that demands light. He has, however, several Europeans 
in his service, and with them I had to spend an hour and a half 
waiting. I do not like this sort of thing, and if it happens again I 
shall make a row. The windows of this photographic-room look 
over a charming garden, beyond which rise the hills that encircle 
Jeypore, on whose precipitous sides I can yet trace in gigantic 
letters the "Welcome to Jeypore " placed there for the visit of 
the Prince of Wales. This garden contains fountains and tanks. 
One of the latter I see covered with a net, which I am told is to 
protect the goldfish from kites and hawks. These fish are much 
esteemed in some parts of India. Sailors bring quantities of them 
from China, and even from England, to Bombay, where they are 
eagerly bought by rich natives, who on grand occasions are fond 



92 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



of serving up a curry made of them, and swagger about their 
having cost a shilling or eighteenpence apiece. 

The garden has also a green and pleasant-looking croquet 
and Badminton lawn ; and the whole thing is kept in a way 
very creditable to His Highness, and would be worthy of a 
Scotch gardener, were it not for the Maharajah's dogs, which 
every afternoon are let loose here, and career over beds and 
flowers after the manner of dogs all the world over. They are 
a motley pack — English spaniels and greyhounds, mixed with 
Rampore and other native breeds noted for their excellence. 
With these the Maharajah tells me he hunts boar, and deer, and 
leopards, and even tigers, as they fear nothing. It is amusing 
to see His Highness — who, notwithstanding his prayings, is a 
keen sportsman — standing on his balcony and calling each dog 
by name. This, however, happened on another occasion, as you 
shall hear. 

Presently the Maharajah is announced, and in he comes. A 
funny little fellow is Ram Sing, short and frail-looking, with a 
very hooked nose and spectacles. As I have painted him, I had 
of course time to study his expression. A sharp, shrewd man he 
seems, — and is, by all accounts, — with a brisk bright eye, notwith- 
standing his spectacles ; withal a very unhappy look. As he 
sits the first time, all merriment fades from his face, an ascetic 
pinched look contracts the upper nose, and his eyebrows are 
raised with an anxious expression. This is heightened by the 
pooja-m'dsV?^ across his forehead, and the two round spots in the 
centre; moreover, there is a black line indicating his having 
finished pooja, and the space between his eyebrows and his eye 
is whitened to a sickly hue. The first day I could not get a 
word from him, but I heard afterwards that this Saturday, loth 
February, was the eve of a festival, and that even while sitting to 
me, the Rajah was at his prayers and religious meditation. 

Ram Sing is a curious instance of a man who is strict, even 
bigoted, in his religious observances, but who is singularly tole- 
rant to other creeds. I hear, however, to those of his own weiy of 
thinking he is not so tolerant. The Maharajah worships Siva ; 



BHUNTFORE AND JEYPORE. 



93 



man}^ of liis subjects follow Vishnu. The other day he confis- 
cated some land belonging to the opposite sect. They protested 
in vain, and finally, instigated by their priest, left the town, to the 
number of 30,000. Amongst these were most of the merchants 
of the town. Ram Sing was firm, and, like the strike of the 
sweepers I mentioned before as now camped near us, this strike 
was all in vain. Finding they could not get any satisfaction here, 
the whole band went off to the Rajah of Bikaneer, a neighbour- 
ing Rajah of very old family, but whose country is principally 
desert. Here, again, they were met with coldness, and sent away, 
as his Highness of Bikaneer was afraid of being eaten out of 
house and home; so they returned to Jeypore, and the merchants 
gradually saw the error of their ways, the thirst for gain getting 
the better of their religion. The priests were soon left alone, 
and having sworn they would never go back to Jeypore till their 
property was restored, are living now miserably a few miles 
off. 

Ram Sing prides himself, and Vv^ith reason, on his enlighten- 
ment. Jeypore town, when he came to guddcey had its streets 
— wide though they were — much obstructed by small shrines, 
sacred to different deities. These the Rajah has gradually cleared 
away, and but a few of those most esteemed by the vulgar herd 
remain. Yet this is a man who prays six hours a day ! 

After a good sitting, I left him till Monday, as Sunday was 
the great feast of the Hindoos, and the Maharajah would be 
busy all day "feeding Brahmins," all this caste receiving gra- 
tuitous meals on the nth Februarj^ Ram Sing has to feed 
50,000, they say. Arrangements were, however, made to take 
us to Amber, and I had a most charming day at the ancient 
capital of Jeypore. Amber is six miles away : you drive through 
a delightful valley, and pass half-way a lake, where Jey Sing 
built his first city. The space, however, was found too small, 
and he moved to the larger plains of the present Jeypore. Oi 
this first town nothing now remains but a palace in the midst 
of the lake, and one or two houses. Presently we came to a 
steepish ascent, and as Indian coachmen (and I suppose horses 



94 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



too, as olive-eating and alpine climbing are matters of educa- 
tion) object to hills, we had to mount elephants. 

At the top of the first hill we sight Amber, built on the other 
side of the valley, on the banks of a small lake. The town is 
very picturesque, but mostly in ruins, and one sees that Jey Sing 
had reason on his side in wishing to forsake the mountain home 
of his ancestors, for the hills crowd close in on the town, and 
prevent any possible expansion on any side. The site is, how- 
ever, admirably adapted for the stronghold of a mountain chief, 
and all these Rajpoot Rajahs were no more than heads of clans 
at the commencement of their history. The palace is well kept 
up, and the Rajah twice every year visits the cradle of his race. 

Built on the spur of the hill. Amber Palace hangs nearly pre- 
cipitously over the lake on its south-eastern side ; towards the 
north and north-west is a large fort on the top of the hill, the 
celebrated Nahrgurh, which towers over both palace and town, 
and commands the whole country. In architecture the palace 
is much as such places usually are in India. There is a fine 
dewan built by Jey Sing, which was so magnificent that his 
suzerain of Delhi was jealous, and sent down ambassadors to 
find out if report spoke the truth. The shrewd Jey Sing, how- 
ever, had timely notice, and managed to cover up his beautifully 
carved columns with plaster before the Emperor's messengers 
arrived, and so they are to the present day ; that is, all but two, 
which have been uncovered, to show the truth of the tale. The 
ceiling of the deivan is decorated with talc and looking-glass, and 
is to my mind better done than the celebrated bath, the Shis Ma- 
hal, at Agra. I made a sketch of the palace from the lake below. 

Monday, — I had another sitting from his Highness, who, not- 
withstanding his night-long praying, was quite brisk and talka- 
tive. We became great friends, and finished the afternoon 
playing billiards together. Among the curiosities of Rajpoot 
Courts are the nautch girls, who are a kind of privileged people, 
and wander through the palaces unveiled and unmolested. I 
had noticed a number of them here, and, presuming on my inti- 
macy, got the Rajah to order one of the girls, whose photograph 



BHURTPORE AND J EVP ORE, 



95 



I saw, to sit. On Tuesday, then, I had a sitting from her. She 
is not young, but has a remarkably fine head. Her costume is 
very handsome, though, of course, rather bizarre. She wears a 
long flowing robe, and winds her drapery round her with the air 
of a queen. Never did I regret more my want of knowledge of 
the Hindoostani language than here. The Rajah, as I have said 
before, is surrounded by a lot of English of not the highest 
education, and to them I have to leave the translation of my 
most polite speeches. I cannot help feeling that these lose much 
when expressed by those vulgar fellows, who give themselves 
most odious airs. Ram Sukee, this nautch girl, is a great friend 
of the Rajah, and soon he came to see how I was getting on, 
and pottered around me, arranging drapery and fancying he 
was of great assistance, whereas he generally spoilt everything. 
My model is not only a danseuse, but a singer. She is from 
Marwar, generally called Jodhpore, from its capital, as this State 
is called Jeypore, instead of Dhoonder, and Mewar is called 
Oodeypore from its capital. The Indian airs are some of them 
very wild and pleasant, though of course all sung through the 
nose. I do not know that they have ever been written down for 
the English public. Like the Arab airs, they ought to be col- 
lected, and would, I am sure, give some ideas to our musicians, 
as the Hungarian music has already done. 

On my return home I found a card : " Thakoor Futteh Sing 
requests the honour of Mr. Prinsep's company to dinner." This 
being the Rajah's Prime Minister, and hearing that the dinner 
was given to the Resident, I wrote back " Mr. P. would be de- 
lighted." At seven I started, and after a long drive through the 
town arrived at the Minister's house, in a narrow lane off the 
principal road. All the nobles have their houses off the main 
road, the palace alone being permitted to face the street. The 
host, smoking a cigarette, politely received me at the door and 
ushered me in. Futteh Sing's house has just been rebuilt. The 
part we saw consisted of three large rooms, of which the first 
served as anteroom, being the largest ; the second, smaller, as 
dining-room ; and the third as drawing-room. They were all 



96 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



lighted, though not very brilHantly, with gas which is made from 
castor oil. On the assembly of the guests we sit down, to the 
number of twenty. Dinner is served in the European style. It 
is cooked, I believe, by the political agent's cook, and is pretty 
good. The ilatives, of course, do not eat with us, as thereby they 
would lose their caste. Our hosts, father and son, sit outside 
the circle of the guests and converse over the backs of the chairs 
on which the convives sit. Other native swells drop in, and pre- 
sently the room is full. After the dinner is over, the Maharajah 
comes in, and he and some of the greater men have champagne 
and drink the health of the company, after which they smoke 
cheroots much like Christians. 

This is an awful blow to the old ideas of caste — the greatest, 
indeed, since this very Rajah's ancestor, a Rajpoot of Rajpoots, 
gave his daughter to the great Akbar in marriage. This was 
thought at the time such a disgrace, that the Rajahs of Oodey- 
pore have always refused to eat with either this Rajah or him of 
Jodhpore. We were told yesterday that the Rajah of Bhoondi, 
who is here, would not eat in a room in which a European had 
been, and regularly washed his hands after shaking hands with 
one. He is an old man of sixty-six. 

Jeypore is, however, nearer to Delhi, and much more acces- 
sible, than Oodeypore or Bhoondi ; so perhaps the Maharajah 
Bhagvvandas was right to sacrifice his prejudices to his worldly 
prosperity. 

We English cannot understand the character of the native, 
nor enter into his prejudices, and his ideal is quite incomprehen- 
sible to us. That the marriage of a daughter should lower a 
man's caste is astonishing ; but what can we say to the tenet that 
if a Brahmin allows his daughter to come to the age of puberty 
unmarried, he and his family are consigned to the lowest hell 
for ever ! 

This Ram Sing, the most enlightened Rajah in India, accord- 
ing to the Indian officials, is very strict in secluding the women 
of his razvala or Zenana. No one has ever seen any of his wives. 
Even English ladies are not allowed within the sacred precincts, 



B HURT PORE AND J EVP ORE. 



97 



and a doctor told me he had to prescribe without seeing his 
patient, and was informed he might, if he Hked, feel the pulse 
of one of the servant women, but not the pulse of the Ranee. 
The nautch girls I have mentioned above do all the shopping 
and commissions for the Zenana. 

After dinner at Thakoor Futteh Sing's, we had a nautch, which 
was the first I had seen. It is generally supposed that a ncmtch 
is an improper sight, and in England such things are talked of 
with bated breath. There were ladies present during this nautch , 
and I can assure you, on my honour, that it was eminently re- 
spectable. The women, too, were not pretty ; but the mono- 
tonous chant they kept up and the movements of their hips were 
curious ; and although I should no doubt get heartily tired if I 
saw more of it, I confess I was amused. This monotonous slow 
movement is adapted for a hot climate, where the whirls and 
bounds of more active dances would be out of place, impossible 
or at least irksome to the dancer, and disagreeable to the looker- 
on, who could not fail to feel hotter from seeing such violent 
exercise. 

The party broke up at half-past ten. The Rajah, however, 
slept at Futteh Sing's, as I found out to my cost, for he never 
turned up at the palace for his sitting. I contented myself with 
his nautch girl, and, if I can only get drapery made like hers, 
shall paint a picture from my sketch on my return home. 

My American friend leaves me to-day, and I shall miss him 
much. He is of a practical turn of mind, without much poetry ; 
but in matters of business has been of great use. He continues 
his "globe trotting" via Calcutta, Madras, and Ceylon, and will 
eventually reach home via somewhere. 

I have here made the acquaintance of Tod's " Rajasthan," a 
book full of information of these parts, and, though published 
nearly fifty years ago, still the great authority on Rajpoot affairs. 

The Rajpoots are all divided into clans : the four greatest 
divisions remaining are — the Sesodias, who rule at Oodeypore ; 
the Rahtors, of Jodhpore ; the Cuchwahas, of Jeypore ; and the 
Haras, of Boondhi and Kota. 

1 



98 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



The Cuchwaha, the ruling clan of Dhoonder or Jeypore, take 
their name from cuchwa (a tortoise), came originally from La- 
hore, and were the sons of Cush, the second son of Rama, King 
of Koshula, who emigrated from Ayodea, or Oude, to the Punjaub. 
Several generations afterwards Rajah Nal, his descendant, mi- 
grated west, A.D. 295, and settled at Nurwar. The thirty-third 
in descent from him was Sora Sing, on whose death his brother 
usurped the throne, depriving his son Dhola Rae of his inheri- 
tance. Dhola Rae was an infant, and his mother, fearing the 
usurper, placed her child in a basket and carried him on her head 
till she reached Khogong (a place five miles from Jeypore), then 
inhabited by the Meenas. Overcome with hunger and fatigue, 
she placed her precious burden on the ground, and was plucking 
some wild berries, when she observed a hooded serpent rearing 
its form over the basket. She uttered a shriek, which attracted 
an itinerant Brahmin, who bade her be in no alarm, but rather 
rejoice at this certain indication of future greatness in the boy. 

What may be in futurity I heed not while I am sinking with 
hunger," replied the mother of the future founder of Amber. 
The Brahmin directed her to Khogong. Taking up her basket, 
she reached the town, where, accosting a woman, who turned 
out to be the slave of the Meena Rajah, she begged for any 
menial employment. By direction of the Ranee she was enter- 
tained with the slaves. One day she was ordered to prepare 
dinner, of which Ralunsi, the Rajah, partook, and he found it 
so superior to his usual fare that he sent for the cook, who re- 
lated her story; and as soon as the Rajah discovered her rank, he 
adopted her as his sister, and Dhola Rae as his nephew. When 
the boy attained the age of fourteen (which is the age of majority 
among the Rajpoots), the Meena Rajah sent him to Delhi with 
the Khogong tribute. After a residence of five years there, 
Dhola Rae determined to kill his benefactor and usurp his power. 
But first he consulted the Meena dhati, or bard, as to the best 
means and time for carrying out his project ; and this worthy re- 
commended the Festival of the Dewali, when it is customary to 
perform ablutions en masse in a tank. He accordingly brought 



BHURTPORE AND JEYPORE. 



99 



a few of his Rajpoot brethren from Delhi, and accompHshed 
his object, filling the reservoirs in which the Meenas bathed 
with their dead bodies. It is a satisfaction to know that " the 
treacherous bard" did not escape : Dhola Rae with his own hand 
put him to death, observing, " He that has proved unfaithful to 
one master could not be trusted by another." The grandson of 
this gentleman founded Amber. After all, most empires begin 
in the same way. 

Fifth in descent, again, we come to a rajah of the name of 
Pugoon, who was well known in Rajpoot chivalry, and was im- 
mortalized by Chund in the poetic history of the Emperor Pirthi 
Raj, the last of the Hindoo Emperors of Delhi. Pugoon, how- 
ever, was killed before the final struggle. The story, as far as I 
can make it out, bears a considerable resemblance to the Homeric 
legends. The lovely Princess of Canooj has to choose a husband ; 
her father, Jeichund, Emperor of Canooj, accordingly summons 
all the great of Hindostan ; but Pirthi Raj, of Delhi, deeming 
himself the equal of the Emperor of Canooj, treats the summons 
with disdain. The insulted Emperor thereupon has an image 
made of gold to represent Pirthi Raj, and at the great feast, 
when all the chiefs are assembled, and when to each is assigned 
some ofifice (for, in the rite of Leonir, every office must be per- 
formed by royal persons), to the Emperor of Delhi, or rather to 
his image, is assigned the post of porter, being that last in rank, 
by the door of the hall. The princess enters, bearing in her hand 
a garland which she is to give to the man of her choice. She 
passes by all the chiefs, and presents her garland to the image 
of Pirthi Raj. In duty bound, the Chohan prince accepts the 
" quest ; " in open daylight he bears off the princess from 
Canooj, and a desperate fight of five days' duration takes place. 
To use the words of the bard, " he preserved his prize ; he gained 
immortal honour ; but he lost the sinews of Delhi ;" and Pugoon 
was one of the sixty-four chiefs chosen to help in the rape of 
this Rajpoot Helen. With him was Govind, a chief of the Newar 
house ; and thus sings Chund : 

"When Govind fell, the foe danced with joy. Then did 

7—2 



100 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



Pugoon thunder on the curtain of fight, with both hands did he 
ply the karg (sword) on the heads of the barbarians. Four hun- 
dred rushed upon him ; but five brothers, Kehuri, Peepa, aiid 
Boho, with Barsung and Cuchra, supported him. Spears and 
daggers are phed — heads roll on the plain — blood flows in 
streams. Pugoon assails Itimad ; but, as his head rolls on the 
plain, he receives the Khan's lance in his breast. The Coorma 
(or Cuchwaha) fell in the field, and the Apsaras* disputed for the 
hero. Whole lines of Northmen strew the plain : many a head 
did Mahadeo add to his chaplet. When Pugoon and Govind 
fell, one watch of the day remained. To rescue his kin came 
Palhan, like a tiger loosed from his chain. The army of Canooj 
fell back ; the cloud-like host of Jeichund turned its head. The 
brother of Pugoon, with his son, performed deeds like Carna ; but 
both fell in the field, and gained the secret of the Sun, whose 
chariot advanced to conduct them to his mansion. 

" Ganga shrank with affright, the moon quivered, the Digpah 
howled at their posts ; checked was the advance of Canooj ; and 
in the pause the Coorma performed the last rites to his sire 
(Pugoon), who broke in pieces the shields of Yeichund. Pugoon 
was a buckler to his lord, and numerous his gifts of steel to the 
heroes of Canooj. Not even by the bard can his deeds be de- 
scribed. He placed his feet on the head of Shesnag; he made 
a waste of the forests of men ; nor dared the sons of the mighty 
approach him ! As Pugoon fell, he exclaimed, ' One hundred 
years are the limit of a man's life, of which fifty are lost in night, 
and half this in childhood ; but the Almighty taught me to wield 
the brand ! ' As he spoke, even in the arms of Yama, he beheld 
the sword of his boy playing on the head of the foemen. His 
parting soul was satisfied." 

And well it might be. After all this " losing of the sinews of 
Delhi," Pirthi Raj could not wonder at his defeat by Shabudin 
of Ghoree. 

The most powerful Rajahs that succeeded the above-mentioned 
Pugoon were Maun Singh, who was a great general in the time 

* Evidently akin to the " Valkyra " maidens of the Northern Sagas, 



BHUKTPORE AND J EVP ORE. 



lOI 



of Akbar, being brother to the wife of Jehanghire, and after him 
Jey Sing, commonly called the Mirza Rajah, who, in the days 
of Aurungzebe, took prisoner the great Sivaji, the originator of 
the great Maratha revival. He was said to have been poisoned 
by his son at the instigation of Aurungzebe, in consequence of an 
idle boast. He sat in durbar with two glass globes, one in each 
hand. The one he called Delhi, the other Sattara (the capital of 
Sivaji) : the latter he dashed to the ground, crying, "There goes 
Sattara ! The fate of Delhi is in my right hand, and this, with 
equal ease, I can cast away." 

It is pleasant to turn from the Homeric, or rather Ossianic, 
butchery described above to the deeds of Jey Sing H., better 
known as Sevai Jey Sing. This Rajah built Jeypore, and was 
the astronomer of India. He erected observatories at Delhi, 
Jeypore, Oojein, Benares, and Mathura. Great buildings they 
are, but alas ! now in ruins. In these places his observations 
were so accurate, that he detected errors in the calculations of all 
the astronomers of Europe. He caused to be translated into 
Sanskrit " Euclid " and Napier's " Logarithms," and by his book 
all almanacks are still constructed — at all events, in India. Hear 
the preface of the learned Jey Sing, and recollect it is a Hindoo 
who writes : 

" Praise be to God ! — such that the minutely discerning genius 
of the most profound geometers, in uttering the smallest particle 
of it, may open the mouth in confession of inability ; and such 
adoration that the study and accuracy of astronomers, who 
measure the heavens, may acknowledge their astonishment and 
utter insufficiency. Let us devote ourselves to the altar of the 
King of kings, hallowed be His Name ! in the book of the register 
of whose power the lofty orbs of heaven are only a few leaves, 
and the stars and that heavenly courser, the sun, small pieces of 
money in the treasury of the empire of the Most High ! From 
inability to comprehend the all-encompassing beneficence of His 
power, Hipparchus is an ignorant clown, who wrings the hands 
of vexation ; and in the contemplation of His exalted majesty, 
Ptolemy is a bat, who can never arrive at the Sun of Truth. The 



102 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



demonstrations of Euclid are but an imperfect sketch of the forms 
of His contrivance ! But since the well-wisher of the works of 
creation, and the admiring spectator of the works of Infinite 
Wisdom, Sevai Jey Sing, from the first dawning of reason to his 
mind, and during its progress to maturity, was entirely devoted 
to the mathematical science, and the bent of his mind was con- 
stantly directed to the solution of the most difficult problems, by 
the aid of the Supreme Artificer he acquired a thorough know- 
ledge of its principles and rules." 

Besides his mathematical knowledge, Jey Sing had a con- 
siderable knowledge of the world, and managed to preserve his 
state in the midst of Jat uprisings and Maratha invasions ; and 
I think, if what I hear is true, his descendant Ram Sing has in- 
herited with the state some of the " canniness we find in several 
of his predecessors. 

The great question of the day in these parts is salt. This 
necessary article of consumption is manufactured all over this 
part of Rajpootana. On the borders of Jeypore and Jodhpore 
there is a salt lake called the Sambhur Lake, from which our 
friend Ram Sing makes a good sum annually. Now, salt is a 
Government monopoly in British India, and one of the great 
sources of revenue ; so the English have actually put a fence of 
prickly pear round Rajpootana. We passed it on the way from 
Agra to Bhurtpore. It is I don't know how many hundred miles 
in length, and I suspect about as effective as its great prototype, 
the Great Wall of China. 

The Government have been trying to come to an agreement 
with Ram Sing in the matter of his salt. Last year he was 
invited up to Simla to discuss this business ; and the Viceroy, 
with his usual extreme friendliness for Orientals, said, taking his 
hand in both his : 

^'Maharajah, if there is anything I can do for you, please 
mention it." 

" There is one thing," answered Ram Sing : " please not to 
mention the word salt," — by which reply, I think, the Rajah got 
the better of the Viceroy, albeit a quondam diplomat. 



BHURTPOliE AND JEYPORE. 



103 



I am writing this in a Rajpoot State where I find a railway 
and an hotel. Surely the prejudice of the Hindoo can never 
resist these two levellers ! It is true they use the railway, but 
never the hotel. Oh, Caste ! Caste ! how long wilt thou resist 
the so-called civilization of the nineteenth century } 




HIS HIGHNESS RAM SING, MAHARAJAH OF JEYPORE. 



CHAPTER VII. 

AJMERE — ROAD TO JODHPORE. 

Beatir, 33 miles on the way from Ajinere to Jodhpore. 

I LEFT Jeypore with anger and vexation of spirit, and view 
the old Rajah as a "pious fraud;" for I delayed my de- 
parture a day to have one sitting from him in his robes, and 
when I went to the palace, I was told the old man was ill, and 
could not sit. Perhaps it may be said that this was not his 
fault. Certainly it wasn't, but then I had been a week at Jey- 
pore, and he might have given me another sitting. Pooja and 
his Highness of Bhoondi were against me; indeed, I fear that 
the former is much used by the Jeypore wallah as an excuse 
when he is wanted for important business. Somehow, too, either 
from a chill, or what is more likely, from exposing myself too 
much to the sun, I had a touch of fever, so that when I arrived 
at Ajmere I felt " all over like." As this was my first experience 
of fever, and as such attacks are very common in India, though 
happily rare in England, let me bear witness to the unpleasant- 
ness of the sensation. A couple of quinine pills and a day's rest 
quite set me up again, only my stay at Ajmere was not as pro- 
fitable as it might have been had I been in my usual robust 
state of health. 

I arrived at 2.30 a.m., and had difficulty enough in waking 
the sleepy inmates of the only and indifferent hotel of the 
place, where I threw myself on a charpoy, and finished my 
night's rest. I had not been dressed an hour before I received 
a visit from the Commissioner, Mr. Saunders, with whom I had 
been at Haileybury, who kindly asked me up to his house, or 

104 



AJMERE—ROAD TO JODHPORE. 105 



rather to a tent in his garden, as his house was under repair. 
Gladly did I accept, and as I felt rather seedy, as gladly did I 
defer my departure for a day. 

Ajmere is most picturesquely situated at the foot of a high 
hill, with other beautifully shaped hills all round. The clearness 
and blueness of the air make the colour of these truly delight- 
ful. The city was an early Moslem conquest, and was for a long 
time the summer residence of the Emperors of Delhi. The 
Commissioner's house was formerly a palace built by Jehanghire, 
and yet contains two rooms, inlaid with marble, and a dewan, 
built for that monarch. It is on the bund^-which encloses a good- 
sized lake, on two sides of which rise hills of 1,000 feet, so that 
the view from the windows is most lovely. Although I was not 
in a very bright state, or fit for much artistic enjoyment, I was 
glad to be taken out for a drive through the town, the streets of 
which have not been spoilt by British improvement, though we 
have been in possession over fifty years. Many of the houses 
are very beautiful, rising with pierced windows and balconies 
several storeys high, and some having the pierced work painted 
with excellent effect. There is a very holy Mohammedan shrine 
here, to which pilgrimages are made from all parts of Hindostan ; 
and deep down in the rock, with irregular steps leading thereto, 
is a curious tank, also sacred. I did not go into the shrine, as 
even Europeans have to take off their shoes, and I felt feverish 
and unwell. 

The Mosque of Ajmere is the oldest in India, being of the 
time of the Kutub of Delhi. It is formed, as was that at the 
Kutub, from a Jain temple, having a faf^ade of early Moslem work, 
with five arches, two on each side of equal size, and a large one 
in the middle, all carved with intricate patterns, over which is 
an elaborate inscription — I suppose quotations from the Koran. 
At the Kutub but one arch remains, and as the Jain temple is 
unconnected with the Moslem faqade, you cannot understand the 
mixture of architectural styles till you have seen the mosque 
here. This mosque commonly goes by the name Arhai din ka 
Jhoinpra, which, means "built in two days and a half." This title 



io6 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



evidently applies to the Jain temple, which was probably cleared 
out and prepared for a Moslem place of worship by decapitation 
of all representations of living things. The screen of five arches, 
built by Altumsh {vide Fergusson's " Indian and Eastern Archi- 
tecture") A.D. 121 1 — 1236, must have taken along time to carve 
and place in situ. The mosque is being very carefully restored 
under the eye of my friend Saunders, who is most anxious lest 
too much should be done. The centre arch is still down, but all 
will shortly be finished, and be a great credit, both to the Govern- 
ment who pay the expenses, and to the Commissioner and those 
employed on the work. It is a great pleasure to me to have to 
record these rare occasions where good work has been carefully 
and well done. Fergusson notices the state of decay and filth in 
which the mosque remained till very recently. He also tells a 
story of a zealous officer at the time of the arrival of Lord Mayo 
at Ajmere. To make a triumphal entrance for the Viceroy, this 
gentleman utilized one of the beautiful arches, but it was put 
together so carelessly that the Viceroy was not allowed to pass 
under it ! It is probably owing to the expostulations of Mr. Fer- 
gusson that the Government undertook the necessary repairs. 

My daks having been laid by the Marwar Rajah, and my 
quinine pills having worked my cure, I started on the morning 
of the 19th February for Jodhpore. His Highness sent his own 
coachman, one Roopjee, and six horses. These were good enough, 
but I trust his Highness does not travel in the carriage he sent 
for me, which is like an open hearse, and has no blinds to keep 
out the sun. However, one is told not to look a gift horse in the 
mouth, so why a gift carriage } And here I am resting in mid- 
day, as jolly as possible, and looking forward with keenest ex- 
pectation for the next two days to take me to Jodhpore, and out 
of civilization. 

The route this morning has been an agreeable change from the 
landscapes hitherto seen by me while ddking. There was no lack 
of variety in this landscape, for on all sides rose beautifully 
shaped ranges of hills, round whose jagged peaks were all kinds 
of lovely blues and pinks in the morning sun. No wonder the 



AJMERE—ROAD TO JODHPORE. 



Rajpoots have a vein of romance and poetry in their disposition, 
not found on the flat plains of Hindostan. Like the Britons, 
the Welsh, the Scotch, the Norsemen, they have their bards and 
poets, who are held in high estimation amongst them, though 
of course the deeds they extol and the examples they cite for 
imitation are principally murder, rapine, and revenge ; and if 
anything tender does find its way into their heroic lays, it takes 
the terrible form of suttee for a dead husband, or the yet more 
terrible jogir, where the whole of the women of a city go forth 
to cheerful immolation, while their male relatives don " their 
saffron robes and rush on their foes." After all, the beginning of 
all poetry was this, and old Homer's " Siege of Troy " might find 
an echo in the sack of Chitore, the capital of Mewar or Oodey- 
pore. 

The spirit of clanship still exists here, I am told, the chiefs 
still holding their lands in feudal tenure from the rana or rajah. 
They live like the Highland chiefs of old, and want but a 
magician like Sir Walter Scott to clothe their feuds and legends 
with a mantle of romance. Are such people capable^f what we 
call civilization } I should almost doubt it. From what I hear, 
the Rajpoot pure and simple, like the Highland chief, is a gentle- 
man according to his lights, one who would rather do anything 
than work. They are, of course, the owners of the soil ; how long 
will they keep it against enterprising capital and the steam 
plough of improvement .-^ 

I left Beaur (where the above was written) at 3 p.m., in the 
same carriage, with five horses, four harnessed as usual, and the 
fifth with a postillion in front. About three miles out the road 
begins to ascend, and for the rest of the way winds through a 
kind of pass. In many places it is very bad, and the jolting 
considerable. 

These twelve miles were most curious. The hills here can 
hadly be called mountains, but yet are very jagged and abrupt. I 
know nothing of geology, I wish I did, but though I have travelled 
among mountains before, never have I seen such formations ot 
rock. Right up to the summits are all kinds of wonderful squirms 



io8 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



and holes, and steep hill-sides are marked like the beds of tor- 
rents in Scotland and other mountainous countries. Some great 
Gulf Stream must have rolled over all this for ages, to have 
caused the effects I have seen to-day. Geologists have, no 
doubt, noted all this before. I can only record my impression 
of astonishment at the effects left everywhere by the waters of 
the great deep. This is the backbone of the great Indian plain, 
and 2,000 feet high at least The balcony of Saunders's house 
at Ajmere was 1,700 feet above the sea, and we must have risen 
considerably since then. At the top of a high hill I could see 
a great squirm hollowed out 20 feet deep in the solid rock, 
evidently by water, and as if done yesterday. I wish I was 
learned enough to know what it all meant. 

At six we arrived here at Burr, a very small village on the 
frontier of Marwar (capital Jodhpore), where there is a very com- 
fortable dak bungalow, from which I am writing. 

The sun sets with its usual beautiful pink and gold, and tom- 
toms and gongs send forth their hideous discords ; for this is the 
time for the Hindoo marriages, and the great Hindoo Festival 
of the Full Moon approaches. I am the only white man within 
a radius of thirty miles. Truly the British Raj is a wonderful 
thing : if we have not won the native love, we have gained his 
respect or inspired him with a wholesome fear. The numerical 
inferiority of the ruling race must always strike the traveller in 
India. It is true I have not been to many garrison towns, where 
English troops may form a good per-centage of the population. 
In this state of Marwar, with its 1,700,000 inhabitants, there are 
two white people, one a doctor at Jodhpore, and the other an 
artist at Burr, the extreme frontier town, distant from each other 
sixty miles ; yet we are both as safe as if we were in London, 
and safer, for no native would think of garotting or offering 
violence to a sahib. 

20th February. 

An early start was my order last night, so the sun had not shown 
his red face over the squirmy pass of yesterday ere the things 



AJMERE—ROAD TO JODHPORE. IO9 

were packed on my carriage (which, by-the-bye, from my last 
night's sad experience, I might call " the buggy," though not the 
shape of that vehicle), and off we trundled over a flat plain again. 
There are mountains still to be seen, and high ones, to the south ; 
but for sketching purposes the landscape has no capabilities, 
from an absence of foreground. 

Villages are scarce and hidden away, I suppose, to escape the 
notice of marauders, who overran the country as late as the early 
part of this century. In some places there are great signs of 
prosperity, wells being worked and crops well forward ; but the 
country is not only flat, but covered with most characterless little 
trees, dotted about in a most tiresome way. At the only large 
village we passed I saw the first signs of the cultivation of opium, 
and very beautiful did my old friend the poppy look, spread, all 
white and red, like a gorgeous carpet, two or three acres in 
extent, and blazing under an Indian sun. The Rajpoot is a great 
opium-eater, and can do nothing without his little dose, which 
accounts for his contempt of death, and possibly for his love of 
poetry. 

I do not know who fixed on the spots for the dak bungalows 
of India. I have observed many beautiful landscapes near these 
establishments, but the houses themselves are all placed where 
nothing can be painted. They generally stand some way from 
the village. This one at Chondawal, where I am resting my 
horses and now writing, is in the usual dull situation, surrounded 
by frightful pepul-trees, with only an occasional glimpse of blue 
mountain to be obtained through their uninteresting foliage, and 
no sight at all of the village. We make a short dak to-day of 
only thirty miles. Having done sixteen by 1 1 a.m. I shall stay 
here four hours, and would have sketched had there been any- 
thing to do. 

I had not been here ten minutes when the thakoor of the 
village, a feudal tenant of the Maharajah's, came to pay his 
respects to his Highness's guest, and present his gift of milk and 
butter. He is a fine-looking fellow, nearly 6 feet high, with an 
aristocratic aquiline nose, and a pair of piercing black eyes ; his 



1 10 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



whiskers and beard are brushed at right angles to his face to 
give him the appearance of a tiger; and with plenty of opium in 
his stomach, and a tulwar in his hand, I dare say he would be 
capable of deeds to be recorded by the bards of Rajasthan. Of 
what these fellows were capable, take this, culled from the pages 
of the gifted but somewhat redundant Tod, who relates it in his 
account of Mewar or Oodeypore. 

The herole, or right of leading an assault, was held to be a 
great honour by the braves of Mewar. The right belongs to the 
tribe of Chondawat, whose chief lives at Saloombra, and this is 
how they got it. The Rana was besieging a town, and decreed 
the assault : the head of the Chondawats claimed the right to 
lead the way, but his right was disputed by the Saktawat clan. 
Now, the Chondawats were very numerous, but of the Saktawats 
there were only sixteen, but all men of approved valour, sons 
a/.d grandsons of Sakta, a relation of the Rana. Neither party 
would give way, and it seemed likely at one time that, instead of 
taking the town, the Rajpoots would turn their swords on each 
other. At last out spoke the Rana : 

"'To that clan shall belong the herole for evermore whose 
first man is first over yonder wall.' 

" To this both parties agreed. At an hour before sunrise the 
great drum was beaten, and each clan under its leader rushed to 
the town. The Chondawats, in the dark, got into a marsh, and 
lost the way to the gate, but rushed to the walls themselves. 
The Saktawats, more lucky, reached the gate. Alas ! in their 
haste they had forgotten to bring ladders, and the gates were 
spiked outside, so that elephants were no use. Delay was dis- 
honour. The chief of the Saktawats slid down from his elephant 
and placed himself with his back against the spikes, calling on 
the mahout to bring the elephant against his chest. The gates 
yielded, and over the dead mangled body of their chief the sons 
of Sakta rushed to glory. At that moment a shout from the wall 
proclaimed their defeat. The Chondawats, arrived at the wall, 
placed their ladder, and up rushed the chief : at the top of the 
wall he was shot, and fell back. The next to ascend was a 



AJMERE—ROAD TO JODHPORE, 



1 1 1 



mighty hunter, and called from his feats in the chase the Tiger 
Thakoor. Grimly smiling, he seized his chief's body in his mus- 
cular arms, and reached the top of the wall : ' The heroic to the 
Chondawats ! ' he cried, with a voice of thunder, as he pitched 
the body of the dead chief inside the wall of the town, and the 
clan shouting their war-cry, 'The Portal of Mewar!' followed the 
Tiger chief So the Chondawats gained the herole by a second. 

When the town was being sacked, two Moslems were found 
so intent on a game of chess as to be unconscious of the noise 
of the assault. Being told to prepare for death, they begged to 
be allowed to finish the game. The chivalrous Rajpoots delayed 
their vengeance, and the game being finished, the Moslems cheer- 
fully submitted to their fate. The Saktawats were very angry 
at the granting of the above war-cry, saying nothing was left for 
them, till a bard gave them their war-cry, ' The Bar that closes 
the Portal.' These clans exist now."* 

These waitings during the heat of the day are very tiresome. 
There are no chics-\ to the doors — or windows, for they do duty 
for both — and flies are innumerable ; the intolerable tickling 
makes it difficult to collect one's ideas. The hum of noises out 
of doors lulls one's senses, and invites sleep. Alas ! drat the 
flies ! — on the hands and face alike they settle and bite. I wander 
out, hoping to find something to do : no, nothing I could do with 
profit ; so I sit down to my journal again. 

Have I ever introduced you to my man Noor Khan ? Pie is a 
Moslem, and a very strict one too. Nothing will he eat that has 
not been killed in the orthodox way. On arrival here, he asked 
me to shoot some pigeons for him, — there were a quantity on a 
tree. As it 's for the pot, I let fly into the middle, and down flop 
four. "Cut their throats!" cries Noor Khan; and he and the 
khansamah here, another Mohammedan, fly about to make the 
necessary sacrifice. " See," cries Noor Khan in triumph, holding 

* This story I find in Rousselet's book, but having taken it from Tod's 
" Rajasthan," the Frenchman puts it into the mouth of a wandering chariin, 
or bard. 

t Chics; thin rush bhnds costing four rupees each ; hence, in slang, a chic 
means R. 4. 



112 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



up the bloody spoils of the chase to Roopjee, the Rahtor coach- 
man, " see what a good shikar my sahib has made ! " 

The Hindoo turned away without a word, and with evident 
disgust. He wouldn't touch one were he starving, such are the 
different prejudices of these people. I found out afterwards I 
had done a very shocking thing. All blue things are sacred to 
the Hindoo, and these pigeons were ''blue rocks " ! 

At Jeypore I had to blow up Noor Khan for being out all day 
in the bazaars, leaving my traps unguarded, while I was away 
painting the Rajah. Coming back at 6.30 the next day, I find 
him on guard. 

" May I go get something to eat } " he cried faintly. 

" What do you mean t " I asked. 

" I not eaten since yesterday afternoon, and master say no go 
to bazaar." 

" Good gracious ! cannot you get anything to eat here ? my 
other bearer can." 

" He and G Sahib's servant eat anything ; they Chris- 
tians \ eat what master leave. I cannot." 

So to provide himself on the journey here, he procured at 
Ajmere half a sheep, of which he has cooked curious -looking 
joints for his sahib each day. Last night, to my astonishment, 
he produced a very tolerable pudding, and as I chipped off the 
brown round the dish, I thought of home, and how as a child I 
had been fond of such things years ago, and I blessed Noor Khan. 

He has his weaknesses, — a tremendous love of finery, espe- 
cially in pugrees ; a great love of buying things, in which, as he 
generally succeeds in anticipating one's most confirmed dislikes 
in the way of Manchester abominations, he has to be checked. 
He has also a wild delight in illuminations, and has produced 
and broken more lamps than it is possible to conceive. Even 
now, when I have restricted his luggage to a minimum, he not 
only brings out my usual hurricane lantern, but two or three 
bottles with candles stuck in them. These are amiable weak- 
nesses, you will say. His worst weakness is his fearful jealousy of 
my other servant, the Madrassee Manuel. He hates the sight of 



AJMERE—ROAD TO JODHPORE. 



113 



him, and his eyes glitter with rage whenever Manuel approaches 
me. Poor Manuel, being a Christian (?), is a mild specimen of an 

elderly man on whom all contrive to trample. Even G 's 

Bombay " boy," who was really a boy, ordered him about with 
great hauteicr. He is very slow : not so Noor Khan, who is 
always rushing about, a most comic figure, with his head, on 
which is folded an enormous and resplendent piigree or turban, 
thrown up, and his elbows brought back. So enormous is his 
pugreey that he looks like a large ninepin. 

With these two I shall have to spend my time for the next 
three weeks, and speak to none others, intelligibly at least ; so 
it 's right you should make their acquaintance. Noor Khan I 
got at Bombay ; he comes from Cawnpore. Manuel, or " boy," 
as all Madrassee and Bombay servants, notwithstanding their 
age, are called, is a " treasure " recommended by my brother from 
Calcutta. Manuel has gone with my heavy luggage to Jodhpore 
by camel-carriage ; and for the time Noor Khan is delighted. As 
a rule the latter looks after my clothes and person, and the former 
cleans my palette and waits at table. Prestongee, my Parsee boy, 
I have sent back home, as he was a great expense and a useless 
incumbrance; being neither man nor master, neither fish, flesh, 
fowl, nor good red herring. I should have retained the little 
man, who was a useful slave, but for his extreme insouciance. 
The fact is, he bored me to extinction. 

At 3 p.m. we started from Chondawat for our second stage 
that day. Again we sped along a sandy plain stretching on 
our left towards the south, far away to the mountains on the 
borders of Mewar, across which I must pass on my way to 
Oodeypore. On our right were several villages, with tanks or 
ponds, and of course rich vegetation. The whole country wants 
but water to be a Paradise. So I have heard that the Suez Canal 
has done wonders in Egypt : that you have only to upset a cup 
of water, and the next day you have grass. 

On this plain were quantities of black buck^ at which I popped 
away, but without success. An accident had bulged my Purdy, 
and with a smooth bore it is hopeless to try to hit at more than 

8 



114 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



70 yards, and these shy creatures never let me get within 120 or 
200. However, the excitement of trying to hit reHeved the 
monotony of the journey, and the afternoon passed pleasantly 
enough. At six we arrived at Soojut, where we were to pass 
the night. The secretary to the hakim, or principal man of the 
town, was waiting for me, and I had barely time to wash myself 
before the hakim himself came to offer his salaam and two 
trays of almonds, sugar-candy, and fresh vegetables. Having 
dismissed him with honour, I strolled out to a camp of people 
on their way from Delhi back to Baroda, hoping to find some 
British with whom to fraternize. The British were not such fools 
as to come so long a journey, and I found the " colonel sahib " 
decidedly black. He told me they had been five months going to 
Delhi and back. This gives an idea of the size of India, and 
how long it took in the olden days to do your travelling: people 
were three months doing what we now do in thirty hours by rail ! 

Soojut has a fort and two funny-shaped rocky mounds, which 
have formerly been fortified, but which are now covered with 
ruins. I suppose it is an important place, since the hakim seems 
to be a swell. Don't confuse this gentleman with a hakim or 
physician. He is the Maharajah's officer in charge. 

To-morrow we are to start at six, and I am promised relays 
enough to take me to Jodhpore by three. I must to bed and 
prepare for my forty miles' jolt through the sand. We have had 
at present what is called in India a puckah road, that is, a made 
road ; but to-morrow we have only ciicha, so I must steel my 
bones to many a bang. It has got very hot to-day. I keep 
wonderfully well, and am quite set up from my Jeypore cold. 

Jodhpore, 2\st February. 

Up to Soojut, the travelling had been pleasant enough ; but 
from Soojut here the roads were said to be bad, and they did 
not belie their reputation. I think I explained in my last the 
difference between pitckah and cucJia. These roads were ciLcJia 
with a vengeance ! My old hearse of a carriage swayed and 



AJMERE-ROAD TO JODHPORE. 



115 



lurched like a small boat in a storm. The timbers of its old 
frame shivered and trembled, and I thought every minute they 
would part company and leave me flop on the sand. The 
shaking I got was a sensation, I can assure you; and when I 
finally sailed into Jodhpore, I offered up a prayer to the divinity 
to be invoked by ^^^/^ travellers for my safe arrival. The dis- 
tance from Soojut to Jodhpore is fifty-six miles. We had four 
relays of six horses to do the journey. 

The last half of the time a hot wind arose, and with it a storm 
of dust ; so I had my first view of the city of Jodha as if 
through a thick London fog. Jodhpore is a considerable city 
of some 100,000 inhabitants, over which towers the palace and 
fort. The streets are very narrow, and my hearse, albeit a 
narrow carriage, had great difficulty in forcing a passage along 
the crowded thoroughfares. Ever and anon we had to wait till 
an unlucky bullock-cart was shunted, with screams, shouts, and 
imprecations, out of the way of the Maharajah's guest. The 
architecture, as usual with purely Hindoo cities, is most pictu- 
resque, with endless varieties of pierced window and balcony. 
Many very splendid temples we passed, all which I hope to see 
more at my leisure ; and then, going out of the farther gate, we 
went up a terribly steep hill, and finally stopped at the Residency. 



8—2 



CHAPTER VIII. 

JODHPORE. 

HERE 1 found the Maharajah's servants waiting for me with 
many salaams. The Residency has been one of the old 
palaces, and is surrounded by a high wall. Within are two large 
buildings : the largest, in which I now reside, being inhabited by 
the political agent, who is at present absent, and the other by 
the doctor. 

I was received with all courtesy by the latter, who is himself 
going on furlough next month, and, so to speak, camping in his 
house. Soon the Maharajah sends a deputation with the usual 
dholle — a number of trays with vegetables, sweetmeats, flour, 
rose-water, &c., which I graciously receive ; and shortly His High- 
ness's private secretary follows to offer his salaam. Pundit Sheo 
Narain talks English, and we get on beautifully. He informs 
me that the Maharajah holds his race meeting the next day, so 
cannot sit then. He invites me to the Jodhpore Races, and 
with many compliments we part. It is no use being in a hurry 
with these people, and I must kick my heels, happy if I can 
book his Highness for the day after. 

I here received three mails from England. Those who have 
never been out of the way of posts can little imagine the avidity 
with which home news is devoured, and how the longest letters 
seem all too short. This morning I have been inspecting my 
new home. The pavilion in which I live is large, and strongly 
built of stone. A long room, running the whole length of the 
house, is lined with marble ; this forms a handsome sitting- 
room. The bed-rooms, of which there are two, are large and 

116 



JODHPORE. 



117 



cool ; in fact, for a native-built house, this is most comfortable. 
The garden, which lies between this house and the doctor's, is 
well kept, the paths being raised masonry, with little water- 
courses running by their side. The Indian gardener's work con- 
sists entirely of watering. He constructs little water-courses and 
earthen dams all over his beds, and you see him squatting all 
day long on the ground changing the course of the water, so 
that each tree and plant may have its share. The water has to 
be drawn from the well. Two bullocks and their driver work 
here, and contrive, by primitive machinery, to supply the main 
water-course from which the supplementary ones are fed. 

This gardener has many enemies to contend with in the 
monkeys. There are swarms of them here, of the huge grey 
and black kind. The walls round the gardens are high, but 
nothing is too high for them. They swing from the tops of the 
trees on to the roof of my present abode, on which they drop 
with a heavy thud. They climb down into my balcony, and fill 
me with dread lest they should find their way to my paints and 
canvases, when, indeed, they would play what my Yankee friend 
would call "merry hell." My friend the doctor here told me 
that they got into his room one day after his servant had laid out 
his clothes for dinner, and ran off with the whole lot. One old 
monkey was seen on the top of a tree trying on the Medico's 
best inexpressibles, while many portions of raiment were found 
scattered about the country for a mile round the house. Monkeys 
being sacred, one is not allowed to revenge himself as human 
nature would suggest. 

At 2.30 we were bound to go to the Maharajah's race meet- 
ing, and off we (the doctor and myself) started, in a carriage 
and four. There are certainly wonderful things to be seen here. 
The city does not, like Jeypore, lack picturesqueness through its 
regularity. Every turn in the street gave you a fresh picture, 
and every picture would be worth painting. The houses are 
built of the red stone of the place, which is whitewashed over. 
The fort and palace were newly whitewashed for Lord North- 
brook, who was here about a year ago. The white is still on the 

1 



ii8 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



walls, for whitewash holds well here, since there is so little rain — 
only 4 inches a year. 

Right through the town we drive, past palace, temple, and 
tank. The syces shout and distribute their blows on obstinate 
bullocks, inattentive drivers, or innocent passers-by alike ; we 
jostle the corners of the streets, but happily the carriage is strong, 
and we survive ; and finally, passing through the opposite gate 
of the city, we reach the race-ground on the farther side of the 
town. The first thing I perceive is a placard with " Jodhpore 
Race-ground " written in English thereon. Everything is done 
in English style, and all the directions and names written in 
English ; and yet I have reason to know that in all the crowd 
there were but two who could read the directions on the boards. 
This is one of the many instances of the extraordinary desire of 
the native to imitate the European. I wish this would lead them 
to sacrifice any of their prejudices ; but, I fear, as yet the desire 
is only to conform outwardly. The Maharajah has built a grand 
stand of solid stone, for which five rupees admittance is charged ; 
we, happily, are admitted free. Most of the Maharajah's 
jockeys are the Maharajah's brothers, and the horses belong to 
them or to the chief. It is a pleasant sight to see the enthusiasm 
they display in riding a race ; and as riding is a manly exercise, 
and these brothers are fine young fellows, all this is very well. 
I only trust the want of communication will preserve Jodhpore 
from the professional ring man, who is the scum of the popula- 
tion. 

The Maharajah receives us with great cordiality, and conducts 
us to his grand stand, seating us to his right and left in places of 
honour. His delight in his new amusement is too strong for 
his politeness, and he soon leaves us and joins the crowd of 
amateur jocks and others by the weighing -house. We are, 
however, plied with cheroots and brandy-and-soda by his orders, 
and, as it is impolite to refuse, are forced to take more than 
we want. He also sends from time to time to apologize for 
his absence. 

Jeswant Sing, head of the Rahtors, and Maharajah of Marwar, 



JODHPORE. 



119 



is a good-looking man of, I should say, forty ; probably he is not 
so old. His father, Tukt Sing, succeeded the famous, or rather 
infamous, Maund Sing in 1843. He was chief of the Rahtors of 
Amednugger, and was invited to give up that principality for 
Marwar, on the death of Maund Sing without children. Jeswant 
Sing was born in Amednugger. Now, the next brother was born 
here, and has caused much trouble both during his father's life- 
time and at his death, by claiming the giiddee on that plea. The 
father, too, was an unsatisfactory rajah, difficult of access, and 
full of strange quips. It was he who caused all the row at Lord 
Mayo's durbar at Ajmere, in 1867, by refusing to sit below 
Jeypore, though the matter had been settled by treaty years ago. 
The durbar was held with Jodhpore's place vacant, and the old 
gentleman was packed off, bag and baggage, the very next day, 
and had two guns taken from his salute — a terrible punishment 
for a rajah. The real reason for his absence I heard from his 
"political:" Tukt Sing was too drunk to appear. In truth, he 
was a truculent and absurd old thing, and played " ducks and 
drakes" with his property. He gave most of the crown jewels to 
a lady whom he delighted to honour, and who has them still, and 
sticks to them. He left ten legitimate sons, and of the baser kind 
five times as many. There were many of these of both kinds at 
the races, some quite lads. 

Jeswant Sing succeeded to the gtiddee only a few years since, 
and found a considerable amount of debt, and much discon- 
tent, left as a legacy by the truculent Tukt. He had to com- 
mence by exiling his brother, Suroor Sing, who claimed the 
throne. He is, however, a very good fellow himself, and very 
popular : you can always see whether a rajah is a good fellow by 
his treatment of his brothers. Now, these here, except the 
before-named Suroor, are very good friends : the only fault I 
have to find with Jeswant Sing is, that he has, as usual, no idea 
of time, and I have been kept waiting two days for a sitting. I 
wrote a most touching and "high-faluting" letter to his secre- 
tary, saying " that I could only stop a certain time here, and 
during that time my services and talents v/ere at the Maharajah's 



120 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



service, but that I could not lengthen my stay, since other rajahs 
were waiting for me that I was particularly anxious that the 
head of the Rahtors, of whom I had read such glorious things, 
should be well represented in the picture to be hung up for ever 
in the palace of the Empress; and that, although it might be 
irksome to sit, it was a small price to pay for the immortality I 
should confer!" and suchlike. As Wigan used to say when he 
played the Frenchman in " The First Night," " I think that will 
tickle him." 

I had a visit from Bigi Sing, the Prime Minister, yesterday, 
and made a sketch of the old man. It is the first drawing I 
have tried here, and the discomfort of such efforts is great. The 
heat was tremendous, and the bread dried between one's fingers, 
so that it was impossible to pick out high lights in the way one 
can in England. The dryness of the atmosphere is wonderful. 
You may slop on your oil colours with pure oil to any extent, 
and, of course with the exception of the lakes, all is dry the next 
day: even lakes only take two days. The curse is the dust, 
which penetrates everywhere. Flies, too, are very annoying. 
At Ajmere the wind blew at night off the lake, on the bund 
of which Saunders's house is situate. The plague of midges 
set in, and I assure you it is no exaggeration to say that lamps 
were put out by them. Their mangled little corpses strewed 
the table two inches thick, and there was quite a smell of burnt 
midge ! 

The feud between Jodhpore and Oodeypore dates back from 
the time of Akbar, in the sixteenth century. Jodhpore early 
succumbed to the blandishments of Delhi, and gave its princesses 
to the arms of the Emperor. Not so Oodeypore ; and on one 
occasion, when Jodhpore went to Oodeypore after his loss of 
caste, the Rana refused to eat from the same platter as the Rajah. 
Wars innumerable succeeded, but the final split occurred as late 
as 1804 {vide Colonel Tod, who was then at Oodeypore). Bhim 
Sing, the reigning Rana, had a daughter Krishna Komari, " the 
virgin Krishna," whose fame for beauty went forth throughout 
Rajpootana. She was the daughter of a princess of the Chawara 



JODHPORE, 



121 



race, the ancient Kings of Annulwara of Southern India. In 
infancy she was betrothed to the Rajah of Jodhpore; but the 
bridegroom died, and his brother and successor claimed the bride. 
Meanwhile Jujgut Sing, the dissolute Rajah of Jeypore, sent to 
demand her hand, and was secretly favoured by the Rana. But 
neither Rajah would give way, and with the help of a certain 
Amir Khan, who alternately sided with one or the other, the 
whole of the Rajpootana, including Oodeypore, was laid waste. 
Amir Khan, a kind of Mohammedan freebooter, finally laid siege 
to Oodeypore, and through his agent, a certain Agit (on whose 
head the curses of the Rajpoots will for ever rest), persuaded the 
Rana that the only way to heal the wounds of his country was 
to sacrifice his daughter. The Rana, a weak man, consented. 
Daulut Sing, a relation, was sent for, and told to " save the 
honour of Oodeypore." "Accursed be the tongue that com- 
mands it ! Dust on my allegiance, if to be preserved at such a 
sacrifice ! " he cried, and rushed from the presence. Jowanda, 
an illegitimate brother, was then called on. The dire necessity 
was explained, and it was urged, for the honour of the family, 
that no strange hand could be permitted to perform the sacrifice. 
Unwillingly he accepted ; but at the sight of Krishna Komari, 
her beauty so overcame him that the dagger dropped from his 
hand. His emotion betrayed the purpose for which he had come, 
and soon the cries and lamentations of the mother resounded 
through the palace. But the danger was not past : poison, pre- 
pared by female hands, was presented in the name of the father. 
Krishna bowed and drank, sending up prayers for his prosperity; 
and to the imprecations poured on the head of her father by her 
frantic mother, sweetly replied, "Why afflict yourself, my mother, 
at this shortening of the sorrows of life } I fear not to die : am 
I not your daughter } Why should I fear death } We are marked 
for sacrifice from our birth.* We scarcely enter the world, but 

* It was usual for the Ranas of Oodeypore to kill their female children. 
When a child is born, his or her birth is notified to the Rana. If it proves a 
girl, the Rana, by turning down his thumb, silently decides the poor thing's 
fate. The nurse presses her finger on the top of the poor infant's skull, which 
at birth is little thicker than skin, and the child ceases to exist. 



122 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



we leave it. To my father I owe my life ; let me thank him that 
I have lived so long." But Mata, the preserving goddess, watched 
o'er her life, and the poison refused to assimilate with her pure 
blood. Twice more was the bitter potion prepared, and three 
times the goddess averted the decrees of fate. One would have 
thought that even the enemies of the Rajpoots would have been 
appeased. But no ! Amir Khan insisted, and Agit, said to have 
been a most pious man, still urged the necessity of the sacrifice 
on the reluctant parent. This time opium, against which neither 
gods nor men can contend, was the poison tried, and it was mixed 
with kasitmba, a soothing draught. With a smile, the poor girl 
drank again, wishing all was over. She slept, never to wake, as 
pure a victim as ever fate demanded or poetry has recorded ; 
and her mother, overcome by her anguish, followed her daughter 
to her funeral pyre. 

Agit, who had worked all this desolation, when he reported the 
sacrifice, was spurned from the presence of the freebooter Amir 
Khan. "Is this Rajpoot valour.!^" cried the Moslem. Four days 
after, Sangram, of the clan of Sakttawat, the rival of Agit, 
arrived at Court. A true Rajpoot, he feared neither the swords 
of his enemies nor the wrath of his sovereign. Forcing his way 
into the presence of the Rana, he found Agit there, seated. " O 
coward," cried Sangram, " who hast thrown dust on the race of 
Sesodia! the blood which has flowed in purity through a hundred 
ages has now been defiled, its course is now checked ! Alas for 
the blot so foul that no Sesodian can again hold up his head, for 
the sin no punishment can wipe out ! the godlike race of Bappu 
Rawal is at an end ! The gods have decreed this for our destruc- 
tion ! " The conscience-stricken Rana covered his face. " And 
thou, Agit, impure of Rajpoot blood ! dust be on the head that 
brought this shame on us all ! Mayest thou die childless, and 
thy name die with thee ! Why this haste to consummate the foul 
sacrifice } Had the Moslem stormed the city and violated the 
sanctity of the Zenana } If he had, you could have died as your 
ancestors the Rajpoots have ever died. Was it thus they gained 
a name among heroes 1 Was it thus they opposed the might of 



JODHPORE. 



123 



kings ? Have you forgotten the sakas (sackings) of Chitore ? 
You are no Rajpoots. Had the honour of your females been in 
danger, had you sacrificed them all, and, putting on your saffron 
robes, found death in the ranks of the enemy, the Almighty 
would have found means to continue the divine race of Bappu 
Rawal, and you would have gained immortal honour. You did 
not wait the threatened danger, you owed your safety to an un- 
hallowed deed ! Alas, the end of our race approaches ! " 

Strange to say, the curse was nearly fulfilled. Of ninety-five 
sons and daughters, but one lived to succeed his father as Rana 
of Oodeypore, and he died childless ; and the line of Bappu has 
had to be perpetuated by two adoptions in the last fifty years. 

The fate of Agit was still more dramatic. Within a month 
his wife and two sons were numbered with the dead. For years 
he wandered a mendicant through the shrines of India, with 
" Rama ! Rama ! " constantly on his tongue, and the hatred of all 
true Rajpoots on his head. Not all the waters of the sacred 
Ganges can wipe off the blood of the virgin Krishna, and for 
ever will he live the execrated and loathed theme of Rajpoot 
poetry. 

The story reminds one of Iphigenia ; and if it does not yield 
in poetic interest to the Greek tale, it has one additional merit : 
it is true, and happened in this very century, attested by an 
Englishman on the spot. 

Since then Jodhpore and Oodeypore have not been friends, 
and I have told how the late Rajah behaved when he met the 
Rana at Ajmere. At Delhi, however, they became reconciled, 
and now, I believe, consider each other " friends of the stomach." 

2^th February. 

To my pathetic letter of yesterday I received an answer that 
the Maharajah would sit at four to-day, and being freed, I went 
out and made a sketch of the palace and citadel, that rise high 
over the town. Jodha, the founder of the town, was very wise 
in the selection of the site. From the plain or plateau between 



124 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



this and Soojat, the ground falls, and, after two or three miles, 
rises again in several respectable hills, on the highest of which is 
the palace and fort. It was, of course, a place of immense strength 
in olden times, before men had digged ''villanous saltpetre out of 
the bowels of the harmless earth." During the troubles produced 
by the Rajpoot Helen, mentioned above. Amir Khan besieged 
this place, and, planting his guns on a hill near this house, sent 
several shots plump into the palace. Such ungentlemanly con- 
duct had not been foreseen by Rajah Jodha, who planted his 
palace on a precipice, and trusted to its height for its protection. 
Probably the tough old Rajpoots of that date would have resisted 
even at the expense of the destruction of the palace. Not so 
Maund Sing, who surrendered at once. The havoc made by 
Marathas at the beginning of this century (Amir Khan was 
nominally the commander-in-chief of Jeswant Rao Holkar) is 
still to be traced throughout Rajpootana. Villages are only just 
starting up and ground being re-cultivated ; for now the seventy 
years of peace given by the paramount Power, and secured by its 
firmness, have begun to produce their natural effects. And the 
Rajpoots are grateful too ; for in the Mutiny, when the troops 
throughout Rajpootana mutinied, the Rajpoot princes stood 
firm, and even the truculent Tukt Sing, father of the present 
Rajah, protected all European refugees, and gave his assistance 
in every way. 

I have been to my first sitting since writing the above. A 
picturesque but decidedly hot drive round the outside of the 
town took me to the Rae-ka Bagh, a palace built for himself 
by Jeswant Sing, the present Rajah. Pundit Sheo Narain, his 
private secretary, informs me that his Highness did not like 
the old palace in the fort of Jodha, because the rooms are small 
and confined, and so he set to work to build a palace of his own, 
after European style. It is not finished even now, so I ought 
not to criticize. 

Like most Indian palaces, the Rae-ka Bagh is a collection of 
pavilions in a garden, round which there is a high wall. After 
being kept waiting some time in the hot sun, I was shown into a 



JODHPORE. 



125 



pavilion of two storeys. The lower one, open to all the winds 
that blow, was littered with bundles of linen ; so I thought 
" The Rajah is having covers made for his furniture." What was 
my astonishment at finding these heaps of linen were all re- 
cumbent Rahtors, probably suffering from the effects of opium ! 
Above this open loggia was a largish room, fitted up with Euro- 
pean articles according to the habit of rajahs. On the table in 
the centre were two large clocks, endless cases for photographs, 
and knick-knacks of all kinds ; on other tables similar orna- 
ments. To the ceiling hung three chandeliers and about twenty- 
five lamps ; in the four corners of the room were four large 
photos of the Prince of Wales, all the same, in the uniform of 
the loth Hussars. Soon I was joined by Pundit Sheo Narain, 
the private secretary, &c. We cleared out a small room at the 
side, where the window was somewhat larger, and thus made a 
rough sort of studio. The Maharajah uses this room for a bed- 
room sometimes, and it was nearly filled with an iron bedstead. 
These people are full of caprice, and will sleep anywhere if the 
fancy seizes them. A charpoy and a rezai, a rough four-legged 
bedstead and a counterpane, are enough for the greatest rajah. 
They have no love of home or chez soi — no household gods — no 
comforts. How can they understand England and English lite- 
rature, where these things occupy such a prominent place } 

I have to wait for the Rajah. Alas ! one has always to wait. 
Presently in he comes, in his undress — spotless linen and muslin, 
so that you can see the colour of the brown skin underneath ; 
bare legs and a common-looking piigree : such is the get-up of 
the chief of Marwar, the head of the Rahtors ! He is a good- 
looking man, but very shy, I should think. He won't talk much, 
and to me only remarks that he would like to be taken the 
other way round, as then the jewels of Marwar would show. To 
humour him, I turn him so that he will look out of the picture. 
Most of these fellows — like Henry VHI., by-the-bye — dislike to 
be taken in profile. All around, on the floor, squat, as usual, the 
Rajah's courtiers ; and as ever fresh numbers join the throng, they 
salaam to the ground. The Maharajah takes no notice of the 



126 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



salaamsj and, enlightened prince though he is, according to his 
private secretary, and good fellow as he is reported to be by all 
who know him, he looks heartily tired of everything, and has 
the usual ineffably bored look that all such people acquire. 

Merry laughter comes from outside ; I hear shouts of " Wah ! 
wah ! " and am aware of the fact that the brothers are playing 
at Badminton on a piece of green sward I had noticed. The 
Rajah does not care for Badminton. Perchance he thinks it is 
infra dig. for a Rajah to rush about and get warm. I should 
like to work him up and amuse him. I make feeble starts in 
conversations; I try all kinds of subjects. No, there he sits, 
bored and placid, a Rajah all over. 

His Highness having been late, the sitting is soon over, as it 
gets dark. 

The next day I have another sitting. As usual, the Rajah is 
late again, later than ever, and I am in despair ! He sends a 
swell thakoor to make his excuse, and with him I try to con- 
verse. My Hindoostani is very feeble. I wish to say I hear 
the Rajah is very fond of dogs. The thakoor looks confused. 
What have I said } I am afraid of having committed myself, 
and stated the Rajah is a beautiful dog. I 'd better hold my 
tongue. I look from the window. All about me are pigeons, 
some with silver bangles round their red legs. What am I to 
say } The thakoor is as bored as I — as the Rajah. What a 
nuisance that I cannot communicate my ideas ! I gaze from the 
windows again. On the opposite window I see an inscription ; 
it looks in a strange character ; but, no surely, though half worn 
out, that must be an "A" and that an "L." Yes! I have it! 

Ladies' superfine cloth," — that is what I read on the Rajah's 
blinds, in rather worn golden letters. It is twenty minutes past 
five, and I cannot see beyond six. Confound all Rajahs I — Ah ! 
here he comes ! I must smile and be happy, with black rage at 
my heart. These are my suffering, O my friends ! and should 
anybody wish to paint rajahs, I should say, " Don't 1 " Yet the 
man does not appear to be rude. Verily rajahs have no more 
idea of the value of time than sitting hens. G is right. 




p. 126 

H.H. JESWANT SING, MAHARAJAH OF JODHPORE. 



J.ODHPORE. 



127 



Hooli," the great festival of the Hindoos, being now on, and 
there being an eclipse of the full moon, the Rajah has asked to 
be excused sitting for two days. More delays ! However, it 
can't be helped, and I must employ my time sketching. 

These Rahtors are descended from Seoji, a grandson of 
Jeichund, the Emperor of Canooj mentioned before. By the 
sword, like every other empire, was the State of Marwar gained, 
and if any one reads the pages of Tod, he must own it was 
plentifully cemented with the best Chohan blood. The Rahtor 
is essentially a man of the sword. One Rahtor is equal to ten 
Cuchwahas, and the Rao and Rajahs of Marwar are mighty 
warriors rather than statesmen, like the Jey Sings of Dhoonder. 
If the feudal system is prevalent in Rajpootana, it is all-powerful 
in Marwar. From Jodha the land was divided among eight great 
clans, called in the language of the poet "the Eight Pillars of 
Maroo;" and although in the main the chiefs of these clans were 
faithful to the crown, the Rahtor blood was easily fired, and 
many a time the throne itself has been shaken for a sarcasm or 
imagined slight to heads of the Champawats or Koompawats. 
Moreover, these chiefs seem always to have reserved the right of 
deposing their liege lord if he should prove unfit for the "cushion 
of Jodha." This right was exercised in the choice of a successor 
to Rajah Guj, who left two sons, Amra and Jeswant. Amra was 
of a most violent and impracticable disposition, and at a solemn 
convocation of the feudal chiefs of Marwar, he was solemnly de- 
posed. "This ceremony, which was marked as a day of mourning, 
was performed with funereal pomp. As soon as the sentence 
was pronounced, that his birthright was forfeited and assigned 
to his younger brother, the khelat of banishment, consisting of 
sable garments, was brought forth. In these he was clad ; a 
sable shield was hung on his back, and a sword of the same hue 
girded round him ; then, being mounted on a black horse, he 
was commanded, but not in anger, to depart whither he listed 
beyond the limits of Maroo." 

Jeswant Sing, the other brother, was the great Rajah of 
Marwar. "Jeswant," says the bard, "was unequalled amongst 



128 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



the princes of his time. Stupidity and ignorance were banished, 
and science flourished, when he ruled ; many books were com- 
posed under his auspices." He was much employed under the 
Emperors Shah Jehan and Aurungzebe, but his policy was that 
of Jey Sing, viz., to ruin the power of Delhi as much as he could 
without actually breaking with the Emperor. Gallantly was the 
pdnch runga * carried through many a hard-fought field ; as 
many times did the Rajah treacherously deceive his sovereign, 
and fail at the last moment. Yet the vassal was too powerful to 
be punished by the cunning Aurungzebe, and if any monarch 
deserved to be outwitted, surely it was the cruel persecutor of 
the Hindoo. That Aurungzebe duly appreciated the power of 
Marwar, and hated the ruling house, is shown by the cruel way 
he tried to massacre the family of Jeswant Sing, who had died in 
his service amidst the snows of Cabul. But first let us glance at 
the fate of Amra, which at least justified the preference given by 
the chiefs of Marwar to his younger brother. These tales are 
not given as history, for this is not a history : I only recount or 
quote from Tod such stories as I think are good traits of the 
Rajpoots among whom I am staying ; and let me add that at 
each of the Rajpoot agencies I have found Col. Tod's volumes, 
which are indeed the great authority on the affairs and history 
of Rajpootana. 

Amra, then, with a considerable following, went to Delhi, and 
was well received by the Emperor Shah Jehan, who gave him 
the Munsoob of 3,000, with the grant of Nagore. But Amra 
was of an independent turn of mind, and once, while the Court 
was at Agra, absented himself a whole fortnight from his duties, 
hunting the boar and tiger — his only recreation. Shah Jehan 
reprimanded him for his absence, and threatened him with a 
fine. Amra proudly replied, putting his hand to his sword, that 
that was his sole wealth, and left the presence. Shah Jehan 
then sent Sallabut Khan, his paymaster, to Amra's quarters to 
enforce a fine. This was refused, and the observation of the 
Syud not suiting the temper of Amra, he unceremoniously told 

* The five-coloured flag of Marwar. 



JODHPORE. 



129 



him to depart. The Emperor, thus insulted in the person of his 
officer, issued a mandate for Amra's instant appearance. He 
obeyed, and having reached the Am Khas, beheld the King, 
" whose eyes were red with anger," with Sallabut in the act of 
addressing him. 

Inflamed with rage, Amra then passed the oinrahs^ or lords of 
five and seven thousand, who stood between him and the throne, 
as though to address the King (or Emperor) ; then with a dagger 
which he had concealed in his sleeve he stabbed Sallabut to the 
heart. Drawing his sword, he made a blow at the King, which, 
descending on a pillar, shivered the weapon to pieces. The King 
abandoned his throne, and fled to the inner apartments. All was 
uproar and confusion. Amra continued the work of death, in- 
different upon whom his blows fell, and five Mogul chiefs of 
eminence had fallen, when his brot er-in-law, Mjoon Gore, under 
pretence of cajoling him, inflicted a mortal wound. Nevertheless 
he continued to ply his dagger till he died. To avenge his death 
his retainers, headed by Bulloo Cliampavval ^nd Bhao Khoom- 
pawat, put on their saff"ron garments, and liesh carnage ensued 
in the Lai Kelah (red fort at Agra). " The pillars of Agra bear 
testimony to their deeds, nor shall they ever be obliterated from 
the record of time ; they made their obeisance to Amra in the 
mansions of the sun." So sang the bard. The faithful band 
died to a man ; and Amra's wife, a Princess of Bhoondi, came in 
person and carried away the body of her husband, with which 
she committed herself to the flames. The Bokhara Gate, through 
which they gained admittance, was closed, and called Amra- 
Sing's Gateway ; neither was it opened till the English came to 
Agra. 

This " running a-muck " was not an uncommon thing with the 
Rajpoot, whose undaunted spirit was sustained by plentiful doses 
of opium, which rendered them insensible to pain, and I fear 
sometimes to reason. 

Agit, the son of Jeswant, was born amid the snows of Cabul 
after the death of his father. The faithful Rahtors bore him 
towards their home. On their arrival at Delhi, Aurungzebe 

9 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



offered to divide the state of Marwar among the feudal chiefs 
who attended their infant sovereign, if they would deliver up 
their charge. Now, land has irresistible charms for the Rajpoot, 
and many are the deeds of what seems to us the basest treachery, 
that have been perpetrated to gain landed property. But the 
Rahtors were true to their trust. " Our country," they replied, 
" is with our sinews, and these can defend both it and our lord." 
With eyes red Avith rage they left the Am-Khas. In a basket of 
sweetmeats they sent away their young prince, and then prepared 
to defend their honour against the hosts of the Emperor ; they 
made an oblation to their gods, took a double portion of opium, 
and mounted their steeds. Let us swim," they cried in the 
song of the poet, " in the ocean of fight ; let us root up the 
Azures, and be carried by the Apsaras to the mansions of the 
sun !" Then Soojah, the poet, took up the word. " For a day 
like this," said he, "you enjoy your fiefs, to give in your lord's 
cause your bodies to the sword. As for me, who enjoyed his" 
(the deceased Jeswant Sing's) "friendship and his gifts, to-day 
will I make his salt resplendent. My father's fame will I up- 
hold, and lead the death in this day's fight, that future bards may 
hymn my praise!" Then spoke Doorga, son of Assoh. "The 
teeth of the Yavans is whetted, but by the lightning of our 
swords shall Delhi witness our deeds, and the flame of our anger 
shall consume the troops of the Shah !" 

They thereupon set fire to a train of gunpowder, and the raja 
loca, or their wives and children, were sent to inhabit swerga, or 
heaven. Lance in hand, with faces resembling Yama,* the 
Rahtors rushed on their foe. Then the music of swords and 
shields commenced ; wave followed wave on the field of blood ; 
and Sankra completed his chaplet in Rajpoot history, as he had 
many occasions of doing. 

Most of these faithful Rahtors fell that day. Some few, with 
the faithful Doorga, succeeded in cutting their way through the 
Moslems, and escaped to their infant chief, whom Doorga, a 
great name in Rahtor history, conveyed to Mount Aboo, into a 

* The Hindoo Pluto. 



JODHPORE. 



place of safety known to him alone ; and for years the country, 
overrun with invading Moslems, was content to know that 
" Dhunni," their lord, was living. Doorga was a constant thorn 
in the side of Aurungzebe ; so much so, that upon one occasion 
" rage so got the better of his religion, that he threw the Koran 
at the head of the Almighty." Six years the Pillars of Maroo 
sighed for their chief, till they could resist no longer ; " without 
the sight of our lord bread and water have no flavour." At length 
they had their wish ; then, " as the lotus expands at the sun- 
beam, so did the heart of each Rahtor at the sight of his infant 
sovereign. They drank in his looks, even as the pipaya in the 
month of Asoj sips drops of im ritsu (ambrosia) from the blossoms 
of the chafupar^^ Verily — 

" I had a dream of chivalr}- , 
And large white phimes are dancing in my eye." 

Yet this is in 1687 ! 

Through his long reign of forty-three years Agit was the beloved 
ruler of his people. Fearless in war, his strength was only 
equalled by his courtesy. At the age of eleven he dared to pre- 
sent himself at his enemy's palace, and in the most ceremonious 
of courts behaved with the dignity worthy of the head of the 
Rahtors. Yet was he foully murdered, and by his eldest son 
and declared heir. From that day the chivalry of Marwar 
declined. The bard from whom I have quoted was the cele- 
brated Kama, who played a great part in the deeds he recounts. 
His " Surya Prakas " consists of 7,500 stanzas ; but in it he 
merely says, " At this time Agit went to heaven." Abhye Sing, 
his successor, and Bukhta Sing, his brother, but for that foul 
murder, would have been worthy of their father and grand- 
father. But their children, Ram Sing and Behem Sing, ruined 
their country ; and their successors, Beyz Sing and Maun Sing, 
finally succeeded in reducing Marwar to the level of the other 
native states of India. Alas for feudal chivalry ! Three gene- 

* There is a tradition that the peacock {pipaya) gets quite inebriated from 
sipping the blossoms of the mango-tree when it is in full bloom ! 

9—2 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



rations of tyrants or fools will reduce it by natural selection to 
nothing. As yet nothing has taken its place, but a nation with 
such traditions, which has produced men like Doorjadas and 
Agit, may yet bring forth heroes in a better cause. 

The wonderful circumstance to me is that this should have hap- 
pened in the last century. Agit was killed in 1728! Fancy Richard 
Cceur de Lion, Bayard, or Lancelot in the eighteenth century ! 

Yesterday morning, 29th February, we went to see the fort. 
I was conveyed up the steep incline in a palki by several old 
fellows, who must have found a considerable difference between 
my 18 stone and the weight they generally have to carry. 

The fort is perched on a high rock. From it you get a most 
extensive view of the plains of Marwar stretching far away, as 
far as the eye can reach, as flat as a pancake. At the foot lies 
the town of Jodhpore, a dense mass of small houses, with no 
trace of streets and open places except where you can trace the 
large square of the Maharajah's stables and the occasional green 
splash of a tank. On the top of the cliffs are many guns, the 
worn-out relics of what must have been formerly good artillery. 
I should be sorry now to lire the old things in wrath, though I 
Suppose the sight of their honeycombed old muzzles may inspire 
awe in the town which they seem to command. 

In the steepest part of the fort is the palace and Zenana. Most 
picturesque and old are they, and built up many storeys, with 
beautiful old windows of pierced stonework. Many a funny 
story could those walls tell, since they were fixed by Rajah Jodha 
in the fifteenth century. At the entrance to the fort I noticed 
on each side of the gate rough impressions of many hands. Small 
were they, and evidently feminine, and silvered over with great 
care. On my questioning the obhging old commander of the 
fort (who is also Master of the Horse to his Highness), he told 
me they were records of former satis performed by ladies of the 
ruling family. Poor little silvered hands ! belonging to wretched 
creatures who possibly had never been out of the walls of that 
Zenana for years, till they made that sad journey to the Chatries 
of Mundore, and their horrible deaths. The tom-toms are sound- 



yODHPORE. 



133 



ing now, for it is Hooli, the Saturnalia of the Hindoos, — the same 
tom-toms which beat loud to stifle the screams of the victims to 
Brahminical tradition. No more little hands will be added to 
that ghastly record ; never more will a rajah be carried out with 
all his robes and jewels, to be burnt with those he loved. Make 
up the number, finish the tally, and turn over a new leaf 

Listen to the description my friend Kama, the bard, gives ot 
the sati performed after the death of Agit. 

"On Asar the 13th, the dark half-moon of 1780 (A.D. 1728), 
1,700 warriors of the eight ranks of Maroo for the last time 
marched before their lord. They placed his body in a boat,"^ 
and carried him to the pyre made of sandal-wood and perfumes, 
with heaps of cotton, oil, and camphor. But this is a subject of 
grief : how can a bard enlarge on such a theme } The Na^ir-\ 
went to the razvala, and as he pronounced the words, ^ Rao 
Siddoel the Chohani Queen, with sixteen damsels in her suite, 
came forth. ' This day,' said she, ' is one of joy. My race shall 
be illustrious. Our lives have been passed together : how, then 
can I leave him } ' 

" Of a noble race was the Bhattiani Queen, a scion of Jessul, a 
daughter of Berjung. She put up a prayer to the Lord who 
wields the discus.J 'With joy I accompany my lord : that my 
fealty {sati)\ may be accepted rests with thee, O Krishna ! ' In 
like manner did the gazelle of Derawal and the Tuar Queen of 
pure blood, the Chaori Ranee, and she of Shekhawati, invoke the 
name of Heri, as they, too, determined to join their lord. For 
these six Queens death had no terrors ; but they were the 
affianced wives of their lord. The curtain wives of affection, to 
the number of fifty-eight, also determined to offer themselves as 
a sacrifice to Agni (fire). ' Such another opportunity,' they cried, 
'can never occur if we survive our lord. Disease will seize and 
make us a prey in our apartments. Then why quit the society 

* A vehicle shaped hke a boat — perhaps figurative of the sail across 
Voiturna, or the Styx of the Hindoo. 

t Nazir, the officer in charge of the raivali or chief Zenana. 
X Krishna. § Or '^suttee''' as it is pronounced. 



134 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



of our lord when, hap what may, we must fall into the hands of 
Yama, for whom the human race is but a mouthful ? Let us 
leave the iron age behind us.' ' Without our lord even life is 
death,' said the Bhattiani, as she bound the beads of toolsi 
round her neck, and made the tilac with earth from the Ganges. 
While thus each spoke, Rahoo, the Nazir, thus addressed them : 
' This is no amusement. The sandal-wood you now anoint with 
is cool ; but will your resolution abide when you receive it with 
the flame of Agni ? When this scorches your tender frames 
your hearts may fail, and the desire to recede will disgrace your 
lord's memory. Reflect, and remain where you are. You have 
lived like Indrani,* nursed in softness amidst flowers and per- 
fumes ; the winds of heaven never ofTended you, far less the 
flames of fire.' But to all he said they replied, ' The world 
we will abandon, but never our lord.' They performed their 
ablutions, decked themselves in their gayest attire, and for the 
last time made obeisance to their lord in his car. The ministers, 
the bards, the family priests {piirohets) in turn expostulated with 
them. The chief Queen, the Chohani, they told to indulge in 
affection for her sons, Abhye and Bakhta, to feed the poor, the 
needy, the holy, and lead a life of religious devotion. The Queen 
replied : * Koonti, the wife of Pandu, did not follow her lord ; she 
lived to see the greatness of the five brothers, her sons : but was 
she to be envied } This Hfe is a vain shadow ; this dwelling one 
of sorrow ; let us accompany our lord to that of fire, and there 
close it.' 

The drums sounded, the funeral train moved on. All invoked 
ihe name of Herif. Charity was dispensed like falling rain, 
whilst the faces of the Queens were radiant as the sun. From 
heaven UmiaJ looked down ; in recompense for such devotion 
she promised they should enjoy the society of Agit in each suc- 
cessive transmigration. As the smoke emitted from the house 
of flame rose to the skies, the assembled multitudes shouted, 
* Khaman ! khaniait ! ' (well done ! well done !) The pile flamed 

* The Queens of Heaven. t Khrishna, the Interceder. 

X The Hindoo Juno. 



JODHFORE. 



135 



like a volcano. The faithful Queens laved their bodies in the 
flames, as do the Celestials in the Lake of Mansurwar. They sacri- 
ficed their bodies to their lord, and rendered illustrious the races 
whence they sprang. The gods above exclaimed, * Dkim, dhimy^ 
Agit! who maintained the faith and overwhelmed the Asures 1' 
Savitri, Gouri, Saravasti, Gunga, and Goomtif united in doing 
honour to these faithful Queens. Forty-five years, three months, 
and twenty-two days was the space of Agit's existence when he 
went to Amrapoora, an immortal abode." 

The poet forgot to give the dying speech of the Chohani 
Queen, who, as she ascended the pile, exclaimed, " May the bones 
of the murderer be consumed out of Maroo ! " — the direst curse 
a Rahtor could utter. Bukhta, the actual murderer, the son of 
Agit and brother of his successor, remembered it when his day 
came, and the curse was fulfilled. 

Having given a description of a sati taken from the poem of 
an Indian and therefore prejudiced writer, let me here quote 
again Bernier : — " When I was passing from Amadevat to Agra, 
over the land of the rajahs that are in these parts (Rajpootana), 
there came news to me that a certain woman was upon the point 
of burning herself with the body of her husband. I presently 
rose, and ran to the place where it was to be done, which was a 
great pit, with a pile of wood raised in it, whereon I saw laid a 
dead corpse, and a woman, that at a distance seemed to me 
pretty fair, sitting near it, on the same pile, besides four or five 
Brahmins, putting fire to it on all sides, five women of a middle 
age, and well enough dressed, holding one another by the hand, 
and dancing about the pit, men and women looking on. The 
pile of wood was presently all on fire, because stores of oil and 
butter had been throwm upon it ; and I saw at the same time, 
through the flames, that the fire took hold of the clothes of the 
woman, that were imbued with well-scented oils, mingled with 
powder of santan and safi*ron. All this I saw, but observed not 
that the woman was at all disturbed ; yea, it was said that she 

* Dhun means riches, but in this sense glory, which is, according to Hindoo 
ideas, associated with riches. f The five celestial Queens. 



136 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



had been heard to pronounce with great force the words, ' Five, 
two,' to signify, according to the opinion of those that hold the 
transmigration of souls, that this was the fifth time she had burnt 
herself with the same husband, and that there remained but two 
times for perfection, as if she had at that time this remembrance, 
or some prophetic spirit. But here ended not this infernal 
tragedy. I thought it was only by way of ceremony that these 
five women sang and danced about the pit ; but I was alto- 
gether surprised when I saw that the flames, having taken hold 
of the clothes of one of them, she cast herself with her head 
foremost, into the pit, and that after her another, being overcome 
by the flame and smoke, did the like ; and my astonishment re- 
doubled afterwards, when I saw that the other three took one 
another again by the hand, continued their dance without any 
apparent fear, and that at length they precipitated themselves 
one after another into the fire, as their companions had done. It 
troubled me sufficiently that I knew not what that meant, but I 
learnt shortly after that these had been five slaves, who, having 
seen their mistress extremely afflicted at the death of their 
master, and heard her promise not to survive him, but burn her- 
self with him, were so touched with compassion and tenderness 
towards this their mistress, that they engaged themselves in a 
promise to follow her in her resolution, and to burn themselves 
with her. Many persons whom I consulted about this custom 
would persuade me that what they did was from excess of affec- 
tion, but I afterwards understood that it was only an effect of 
opinion, prepossession, and custom, and that mothers, from their 
youth, besotted with this superstition, as of a most virtuous and 
most laudable action, such as was unavoidable to a woman of 
honour, did so infatuate the spirit of their daughters from their 
infancy ; although at the bottom it was nothing else but an art 
of the men, the more to enslave their wives, and thereby make 
them have more care to their health, and to prevent poisoning 
them. 

" She that I saw burn herself at Surat, in the presence of many 
Dutch and English, was of a middle age, and not unhandsome. 



JODHPORE. 



To represent to you the undaunted cheerfulness that appeared in 
her countenance, the resolution with which she marched, washed 
herself, and spoke to the people, the confidence with which she 
looked upon us, viewed her little cabin made of very dry millet 
straw and smallwood, went into this cabin and sat down upon 
the pile, and took her husband's head in her lap and a torch into 
her own hand, and kindled the cabin, whilst I know not how 
many Brahmins were busy in kindling the fire round them ; to 
represent to you, I say, all this as I ought, is not possible for me ; 
I can at present scarce believe it myself, though it be but a few 
days since I saw it. 

" 'T is true that I have seen some of them which at the sight 
of the pile and fire appeared to have some apprehension, and 
that would perhaps have gone back, but 'tis often too late. 
Those demons of Brahmins that are there with their great sticks 
astonish them, and hearten them up, or even thrust them in, as 
I have seen it done to a young woman that retreated five or six 
paces from the pile, and to another that was much disturbed 
when she saw the fire take hold of her clothes, these executioners 
thrusting her in with their poles. I remember amongst others 
that at Lahore I saw a very handsome and very young woman 
burnt ; I believe she was not above twelve years of age. This 
poor creature appeared more dead than alive : when she came 
near the pile she shook and wept bitterly. Meanwhile three or 
four of those executioners, the Brahmins, together with an old 
hag that held her under the arm, thrust her on, and made her 
sit down on the wood ; and, lest she should run away, they tied 
her legs and hands, and so burnt her alive. I had enough to 
do to contain my indignation," said worthy M. Bernier, and I 
hope my readers sympathize with his feelings. 

It was not an uncommon thing for other persons besides wives 
to sacrifice themselves with the great. When Rajah Maund was 
burnt, in 1843, seventy-eight persons committed sati with him, 
— not only his wives, but aged and infirm persons, who thought 
thereby to secure their salvation, and sneak up to heaven in the 
train of the great Rajah ! 



138 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



Yet the doing away of this custom has its inconveniences. 
Each wife has, on marriage, a certain number of villages given to 
her as a portion. In olden times these, on her death, reverted 
to the reigning rajah, so that a clean sweep of all the wives of 
his predecessor, sometimes fifteen or sixteen in number, was 
decidedly useful, as it naturally swelled his Highness's income. 

Into the Zenana I did not of course penetrate, but the palace 
I saw. Here is the marble platform on which the Rajah receives 
his teeka or mask of succession : that marble seat is the cushion 
of Jodha, where the sword is girt about the Rajah, and the toora 
bound round his head. Here is the chamber where old Tukt Sing 
breathed his last ; here is the hall he decorated, and there is his 
picture, and those of many of his sons, with their whiskers black 
and well turned up, after the manner of the Rajpoots. A curious 
room this, and a good specimen of late Hindoo work. Barbarous 
in its aspect, with rather raw colours, but still with a character 
of its own, infinitely preferable to what Jeswant Sing, the pre- 
sent Rajah, is now doing at Rae-ka-Bagh, some of the work in 
this room is really good. The ceiling is an elaborate gold carved 
pattern over glass, and I have no doubt in the evening lights up 
well. The whole has an odd look from the walls being built 
at all kinds of angles to suit the exigencies of the ground. As I 
said before, the traceries of the windows in the palace are par- 
ticularly good. I hope to get some carved here, as Sheo Narain, 
private secretary, tells me he has made my wish known to the 
Maharajah, and his Highness says he will help me to carry out 
my wishes.* 

Jodhpore is a very hot place, and already the heat in the 
middle of the day is getting very great. I don't go sketching 
then, but sketch in the evenings. Even then the heat seems to 
rise from the ground. I shall take very good care and keep out 
of the sun as much as possible. 

I leave here on the evening of the 2nd, having deferred my 
departure one day, to enable me to attend an entertainment 
given in my honour by the Rajah. I shall travel as much as 

* Vain hope ! rajahs never perform promises of this kind. 



JODHPORE. 



139 



possible by night, by bullock-cart, and I shall take four days to 
get to Oodeypore. 

'^rd March. 

I am still lingering at Jodhpore. On the ist I went out at 
6.30 a.m. to Mundor, the old capital of Marwar. The road, if 
road it can be called, was awful. Imagine the stony bed of a 
Highland stream, and then fancy yourself dragged over such 
stones by six horses. Nature around, as old travellers used to 
say before Sir Walter Scott introduced a feeling for romantic 
scenery, was horrible and shocking, and melancholy in the ex- 
treme. At Burr, as I remarked in my letter from that place, all 
looks as if a great Gulf Stream had rolled over it for ages. Here 
the hills appear burnt up, as though scorched by some mighty 
fire. They are quite bare, except where here and there a most 
impassable prickly abomination, of which I don't know the name, 
rears itself up, like an array of green serpents, from the ungene- 
rous rock. Through these hills we plunged and bumped for 
four miles, when we emerged on the plain, which reaches right 
up to the confines of Oodeypore, and of which I shall have some- 
thing to say when I cross it. After some tough dragging for 
the six horses, we arrive at last at Mundor. A pleasant little 
green nook in the barren hills it seems. There is but little town 
left, and it could never have been much of a place, as the space 
is limited. A few houses and the celebrated chatris, or burial 
memorials of former rajahs, are all that remain. When a rajah 
dies at Jodhpore, he is placed, with all his splendour, in his state 
chair — formerly, surrounded by his wives — and carried to Mundor, 
and there burnt. His ashes are taken by his heir, and deposited 
in the sacred Jumna. His people, the males at least, show their 
sorrow and respect by shaving their heads, beards, and whiskers, 
only the successor being allowed to retain his prized locks. Over 
the place where his body was burnt is built a chatri, or half tomb 
half temple. And here they are, sacred to the memory of many 
rajahs, some small and poor, some really fine and beautiful; the 
two best are those of Jeswant Sing and Abhye Sing. Gradually, 



140 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



however, the sacredness of the edifice seems to be forgotten, and 
many of the chatris are used for different domestic purposes ; 
only those of the two last rajahs had altars. At the tomb of 
my friend Tukt Sing I had to offer a rupee, according to custom, 
they said. The Maharajah has a summer residence and a very 
pleasant garden at the upper end of the valley, over which I was 
shown. Attached to this residence is a curious temple and arcade, 
in which are arranged colossal figures of the gods. Brahma, the 
God-father ; Suraj, the Sun-god ; Siva, the Avenger, with his 
wife, the convivial Sati; Rama and Krishna, the two incarnations 
of Vishnu, the latter with the wives of Gopio, or Herdsman, with 
whom he is said to have behaved in a most compromising way, 
entirely destroying those ladies' reputation for all time ; and a 
gui'ii or saint whose name I could not catch. In another gallery 
are the effigies of many rajahs, all alike, mounted on their 
steeds, and turning round to stare at you. 

I 've let my journal run down two days, and now, while wait- 
ing for my breakfast at a wretched dak bungalow, must see 
whether I cannot write it up. 

I was to have had a sitting from the "Jodhpore Wallah," as he 
is sometimes called, on the afternoon of the first; but on my 
return from my expedition to Mundore, I found a message, saying 
that the Rajah did not feel well, and hoped I 'd excuse him. 
The fact is, Hooli is a kind of Saturnalia, when it is considered 
the right thing to commit any folly, and his Highness had pro- 
bably what is vulgarly called " coppers." I again gave vent to 
my feelings, and cursed all rajahs. The whole day was wasted, 
and I consequently felt in a rage. In the evening we were to dine 
with the Rajah ("we" means here self and the doctor, with 
another doctor, Inspector-General of Hospitals, who had arrived 
the day before). I did not see that there was much the matter 
with our august friend when we arrived at the palace. He re- 
ceived us with great friendliness, and after a little ceremonious 
" talkee-talkee," conducted us to the upper room of the pavilion 
I have previously described. Of course he could not dine with 
us, but he sat behind us and talked convivially all the time, pro- 



JODHFORE. 



ducing his guns, &c., for us to examine. Guns are always pro- 
duced, and afford subject for endless talk, as sport is what most 
excites the enthusiasm of the Englishman and native alike. I 
was waiting for him to say something about the sitting, but it 
was not till much later in the evening that he expressed his re- 
grets ; and he behaved so well on the two subsequent days, that 
1 have forgiven him. 

The dinner, after one or two mishaps, such as rum being served 
round as sherry, &c., comes to an end, and already we hear 
sounds of singing and music below, for we are to have a grand 
nautch. Then we follow the Rajah downstairs, and sit in state. 
The nautch is arranged on the Badminton ground and the walk 
at the side, both covered with red cloth for the occasion. 

First comes the prima donna, who chants an interminable love 
song, with an occasional slow wave of the hands. 

But Jodhpore is celebrated for its dances, and we, not under- 
standing the words of the song, which is the best love poetry of 
Rajpootana, grow impatient. Meanwile a quantity of dark squat- 
ting figures are dimly seen on the lawn. The Rajah gives the 
order. Torches are Ht all round ; a big drum sounds; the women 
stand in a circle, and the dance begins. It is called the giim- 
meVy and was instituted in memory of a former Rajah, one Rao 
Rinmul, who headed an expedition, and came decidedly to grief. 
This the Pundit would not allow, saying it was another Rao 
Rinmul. The character of the dance was quite enough to prove 
to me that I was right, and I shall refer to the pages of Ted as 
soon as I can lay hands on his bulky volumes for confirma- 
tion.* One hundred women dance round in a kind of stately 
measure, with "woven paces and with waving hands." They 
keep beautiful time, and in the strong light and shade of torch- 
light, with the glitter of many a bangle, armlet, and anklet, the 
effect is most striking. Ever and anon the great drum in the 
centre gives a boom, when the women all throw up their arms 
together, and behind all, the great moon rises over the dark 
trees. I never was more fetched." To the gummer succeeds 

* I can only find one Rao Rinmul, and he is the one I alluded to. 



142 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



the darower, danced in threes bt^ about thirty women, which 
is also very pretty. In this the women veil their faces. Then 
we have the ptigree dance, danced to the tune of " Pinnee 
Minnee," which I had seen before ; and then, refreshed with 
"brandy pawnees" and much be-attared and be-panned, and with 
garlands round our necks, we take our leave. The two doctors 
go off to Ajmere straight away, and I return to my "Residency" 
through the moonlight, with the gummer still ringing in my 
ears and filling my imagination. I should like to paint it very 
much. 

On the 2nd I go to the Rajah at 3 p.m., and a very hot drive it 
is. Yesterday the thermometer was 84° in the cool of the house. 
The Rajah is punctual, and appears in the state dress of the 
Rajpoots. A kind of bishop's mitre is on his head and a won- 
derful stiff kilt round his waist. The latter he gave me, and I 
shall take it home to astonish the Scotch, and to prove that my 
study of Jeswant Sing is not pure invention, as wicked people 
might suppose. 



CHAPTER IX. 



JODHPORE TO OODEYPORE. 

On the morning of the 3rd I got my long-wished-for telegram 
from the political agent at Oodeypore. To-day all the daks are 
ready laid, and I determine to start to-night and bump through 
the cool. I had a good sitting, and I have bumped, and here 
I am, much shaken and terribly hungry. The worst is that I 
have outstripped my servant and my luggage, and am solitary, 
famished, and dumb, for I cannot explain to these fellows what 
I want. 

The last six hours I have travelled by bullock-cart — a new 
experience, and one I do not relish. I must go on, however, in 
the same vehicle, which is a coffin, as usual, but on two wheels 
instead of four, and consequently bumps and jumps in a way to 
break limbs less sturdily constructed than mine. My next stage 
is Dessoori, the border town of the states of Marwar and Mewar, 
and in the mountains. 

I manage to get a fowl from the old man at the bungalow, 
and I sit and write and growl many hours. Round goes the sun, 
and down he finally sinks, and still no luggage. I wander forth 
disconsolate, for I want to get on to the next stage — Dessoori — 
this night, and the time is passing. Finally I hear shouts in the 
distance. I shout too, and find my servant, Noor Khan, with a 
native and a bullock harnessed together^ and himself pushing 
behind. " Couldn't get bullocks," says he. " Rajah's letter only 
to the hakim of Palli and Dessoori, and an intervening hakim 
says it doesn't apply to him." Red-tapeism in the state of 
Marwar! I am determined this shall not happen again, and 

143 



144 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



when we start, as we do finally at lo p.m., I mount my man on a 
camel, with strict injunctions that if he can't keep up he is to 
stop my bullock-hearse and get in with me. Alas ! L 'homme 
propose et Dieu dispose. By-the-bye, why do people always say 
this when things turn out " contrairy " ? I arrive, after much 
bumping, at Dessoori, to find no servant again ! I had seen him 
cheerily trotting after me half-way, and he had said he had 
been getting on well. He passed me and disappeared. He had, 
indeed. 

Dessoori is a small fortified place, with a wall much like that 
of a town in North Italy. Through the streets I wandered, in- 
quiring for luggage and servant. In vain I went to the fort. 
Nothing had been heard of him, but I catch the words " Oodey- 
pore ! Tasv ere sahib V * and make out that there are men waiting 
for me at a certain gate. I get there to find two sowars and eleven 
palki wallahs, with palki, who say they have been waiting three 
days, and propose starting off at once. I explain (.?) that without 
servant or luggage this is impossible. We sit and stare at each 
other. They ask whether they may prepare their midday meal. 
" Certainly." They eat. I am famished. This is worse than Palli. 
There at least was a bungalow and a tough fowl : here nothing. 
Mustering my best Hindostani, I ask for milk, and get it. Em- 
boldened by this refreshing draught, I determined to go to see 
the hakim or head man. It 's awfully hot, but I won't starve. 
Off I start, wandering through the streets of the little town to my 
friend the fort. Here they tell me the hakim is at catchery ; 
so there I go too, and find catchery a broken-down shed. I wish 
any one could have been by and seen the hakim and me, both 
very polite, and both incomprehensible. I ask for my " noka,'' 
well-remembered name ! The hakim doesn't know. I essay all 
kinds of conversation, which is anything but Hindostani, for 
the hakim looks puzzled. Finally I salaam and go, but he sends 
after me to ask what he can do for me. " A fowl," I cry, "and 
chapattisy So a live fowl is brought, and chapattis, covered with 
some beastly green stuff that makes them uneatable. However 

* Literally " picture gentleman," or painter. 



JO DH PORE TO OODEYPORE, 145 

I eat and smoke, and wait for my luggage, and hope for Noor 
Khan. Still the sun revolves ; I try to sleep in a temple, and in 
vain; I long for the flesh-pots I know to be in my luggage; alas ! 
in vain. Towards evening I make up my mind to slaughter my 
fowl and cook him myself. But how ? I have no saucepan, no 
plate, nothing. I go to the palki wallahs, who are reclining, full 
and happy, under the shade of some neighbouring trees, and ask 
them., with much politeness, whether anybody can cook a fowl. 
They look shocked. Have I offended their caste } Will they 
leave me and go } No matter. I must try myself Here one 
of the sowars comes up ; and seeing my fell purpose, for I am 
looking murder at the poor fowl, which the kind Hindoos have 
been feeding up, and which is clucking about unconscious of its 
fate, the /^^^//^/-bearers gather round. I determine to do the deed, 
and dread failure. I seize the neck of the fowl and give a pull. 
Oh, horror ! the head comes off, and the headless carcass goes, 
still fluttering, amongst the palki-hcdiYcvs, who fly shrieking in all 
directions. I then proceed to pluck my evening's meal, but one 
of the sowars brings a low-caste native, who performs this task 
for me. Fire is made ; the fowl, indifferently plucked, and with 
a stick stuck through him, is placed on the fire and actually 
roasted ! They say anything will taste well to the person who 
cooks it, but this fowl was an exception. Never did I taste any- 
thing less appetizing ! I had cooked it, and was eating it with 
my pocket-knife, holding it with the stick or spit resting on my 
knees, but it was disgusting. I ate pieces from the breast from 
a sense of duty, and then threw the rest to the crows. 

Will my luggage never come } Some accident has probably 
happened to Noor Khan. The sun goes down. I pace about 
in the dark, thinking my luggage will come as yesterday. But 
no ! I retire to my palki, bar the door with my shut-up chair, 
the only thing I have with me except a travelling-bag with my 
money, and I go to sleep. At two a noise. Oh, joy ! it is my 
luggage. I decree a start at half-past five, and turn in again. 
Presently I am roused by the most diabolical row all round, and 
I jump up crying ''All right." No ; the moon shines clear; it is 

10 



146 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



3.30, Around are the recumbent figures of my native auxiliaries, 
each sleeping peacefully, wrapped head and all in the folds of his 
drapery; and the noise is only the peacocks amusing themselves. 
There are hundreds roosting in the trees beneath which I am 
lying, and the devil seems to have entered into them. How I 
should like to eat them," I think to myself ; but they are sacred. 
I gaze fondly at my long-lost luggage lying there in its bullock- 
cart, and determining never to leave it again, turn in. 

At dawn we start, but I leave a letter to be forwarded to the 
Maharajah, asking him to set on foot inquiries for my missing 
servant. A bullock-cart and one sowar are told off to luggage, 
and eleven palki wallahs essay and actually do carry me through 
the Dessoori Pass into Mewar. The Pass itself has no par- 
ticular beauties. It is mildly mountainous and very well wooded. 
Neither is it very steep ; but ten miles with 18 stone must take 
it out of their brown backs. They trot along, however ; but 
their joy is, I feel, sincere when they clap their hands as they 
finally land me under a large banyan-tree at Jeelwarra, on the 
Oodeypore side of the Pass, shouting as they place me on the 
ground, "Ram! Rain! Ram!'' When I tipped them afterwards, 
they declared they thought nothing of the weight. 

At Jeelwarra I find an elephant waiting for me, and I hear 
there are three more at ten miles apart, and then a carriage to 
take me to Oodeypore. I determine to travel during the night, 
leaving at 6 p.m. Meanwhile I demand milk, and breakfast off 
milk and bread, of which my luggage contains a store. I think 
dolefully of the day I have to pass, and the cooking I must do ; 
neither are my spirits raised by seeing on the trunk of the tree a 
slice of bark cut off, and the sad inscription: "Under this tree 
died Dr. John Hunter, 1872." But joy! three sowars appear, 
under a dtcffadar, who hands me a letter from the political agent 
at Oodeypore, saying he hears the arrangements of the durbar 
are very bad, and I shall find it difficult to get my servants and 
baggage through, so that he sends three camels to help. 

The dtiffadar is evidently a man in authority. He orders people 
about ; coolies, milk, fowls, butter, everything comes pouring in ; 



JODHPORE TO OODEYPORE. 



and he insists on cooking my dinner himself. It is tough, but I 
eat it, with my grizzly friend gazing at me like a father. I am. so 
relieved that I am emboldened to make a sketch, and feel quite 
happy. Presently, while sketching, I hear a noise of blows and 
shouting, and behold the missing Noor Khan belabouring a 
prostrate native. 

" Come, come ! " I shout, what 's this } " 

"Sir, he takes me thirty-six hours about the country; he breaks 
the rein of a camel," &c., &c. 

Well, the camel-driver got a sound thrashing, and may have 
deserved it, but I was so glad to regain some one who could in- 
terpret, that I thought it better not to inquire into the merits of 
the case. 

After a visit from the hakim of Jeelwarra, and a good deal of 
noise and bustle with coolies who are to carry some of the luggage, 
off we go. A goodly procession ! First come sundry coolies, two 
carrying my canvases on their heads, the said canvases having 
been strapped on a charpoy or bedstead requisitioned from the 
village ; next a boy with a lantern ; then the saJnb on his ele- 
phant, followed by two sowars ; then his retinue on three camels; 
and, finally, two more sowars. Violet lights lie on the mountains 
as we start, for the sun has just gone down, and it is six o'clock. 
The night gradually sets in, and the stars sparkle with unwonted 
brilliancy. Shall I forget that night in March upon the plains of 
Mewar } No, I don't think I shall. The howdah is a square box, 
with iron bars round, well stuffed with mattresses. It is con- 
structed to carry a gent who can sit cross-legged, or rather on his 
heels. Now, I cannot do so, and am gifted with an abundant 
supply of lower limb; consequently after a time my legs go over 
the end. " That 's better," think I, and I am beginning to enjoy 
the soHtude and the changes in what ought to be a beautiful 
country if seen, and to look at the stars and think of home 
(who has not done all this when I become aware that the 
howdah is slipping. I observe the same to the maJiotU, who gets 
up, giving the elephant's head a kick as he does so, and then 

hangs over the side to right the howdah. It 's no use. What 

10 — 2 



148 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



good is 8 stone against 18 ? I am obliged to hang over myself, 
and gradually get things straight. I try cross legs again, and 
begin to enjoy, or think I begin to enjoy, the motion. There 
is something tremendous in the power of the great brute whose 
quarters you can feel heaving beneath you through many a pad 
and mattress. But oh ! how cramped my legs become ! Then 
my second elephant was a long-legged devil, who would not go. 
He had a swing that would have made some people sea-sick ; 
but never mind if he would only go on. 

We have passed the land of romance — of nullah and tiny lake, 
of trees that look hobgoblin against the sky, and of little pool 
reflecting sky and tree in strips, where the stars look double their 
natural size in the midst of the dark — and are now crossing a 
great plain, dotted with scrubby bushes. The moon is shining, 
and in the distance there appears a large lake, made from famine 
labour, and which is, I believe, 14 miles long. Strange noises one 
hears. " What 's that 1 " I ask, to a shout of many voices in the 
distance, and a roar. " Tiger !" says the mahout. I should like to 
see him, and so strain my eyes, and think every bush a tiger. But 
the elephant won't move on : he trumpets so that you can feel 
the vibration through his mighty frame, through pads and all ; 
he strikes the ground with his trunk ; then he stops. The mahout 
hits him on the head, to no purpose, with his iron hook ; he goes 
on awhile, then stops again ; then more hitting, more shouting 

Hut ! huil^' and much abuse in choice Hindostani, till at last, 
after many a struggle, we reach the second halting-place at 4 a.m. 
instead of 2. The third elephant is a first-rate beast, and puts 
on the steam, and nearly does his five miles an hour ; but the 
faster he goes, the more he jolts ; my cushions tumble off, every- 
thing goes, and when I arrive here (Duspore) I am in a pulp. 
''Ram! rami'' say I with joy, and strive to jump from the 
ladder : my legs are all gone, and I fall flat. My back is as 
though beaten, and my neck stiff. I sink on a bed, and try to 
sleep. Alas ! no. However, the very lying down is a relief, and 
after all, now, two or three hours after, I am, but for the flies, 
writing in comparative comfort. Can I forget 1 I thank thee, 



JODHPORE TO OODEYPORE. 



149 



Aide; but no, decidedly no, I shall never forget that night. I 
am off to Oodeypore by carriage at three o'clock this afternoon, 
so away with romance, and I hope discomfort too. 

I may here remark that in travelling through India the unit 
by which they measure distances is a variable quantity. It is 
generally a koss. Now, a koss is supposed to be two miles, and 
from Jeelwarra to Duspore was said to be fifteen koss, or thirty 
miles, yet was I from 5.30 p.m. to nearly 10 a.m. doing the dis- 
tance, and during the latter part going at least five miles an hour. 




OODEYPORE TOWN AND CASTLE. 



After bumping four hours more in a carriage, I arrive at Oodey- 
pore. I don't mind jolting, if I know I am progressing ; and 
these Oodeypore coachmen get along well. The carriage has 
been once a lady's pony phaeton. It has now four horses ; on the 
off leader is a postillion, the driver sits sideways on the front seat, 
and we go at full gallop. I am not timid, luckily, for I see that 
the coachman, as often as not, has his reins under his horses' tails. 
Bang, bang ! thump, bump ! over a ciicha road for three hours, 
then one hour over piicka, and we arrive. Here all is delightful, 
my host Impey most hospitable, my bed soft and clean (and did 
not I enjoy it !), and I am just writing for the post ; while Noor 
Khan is snoring in well-deserved sleep outside my room. 



CHAPTER X. 



OODEYPORE. 

loth March. 

OODEYPORE resembles all the old capitals of Rajpootana in 
this, that it has a citadel and palace towering far above the town. 
But Oodeypore is surrounded by mountains, and, moreover, 
palace and town rise from the bed of a considerable lake, which 
is artificial, the town being built on the bund that encloses the 
waters. 

Mewar generally is very fertile. Round here the corn — and 
a splendid crop too — is quickly ripening. Water is plentiful, 
and in India, where water is, there are always good crops. I 
have seldom seen a more picturesque place. From the lake the 
palace rises abrupt and vast. Every rana is expected to add 
something to this palace, so that it is really a very considerable 
pile. All along the east shore of the lake stretch the houses of 
the town, while above them appear some large temples, one of 
which is really very fine. On the lake itself are several islands, 
of which two contain palaces of the Maharana. The enthusiastic 
Tod describes these palaces as built of the purest white marble, 
"whose arched piazzas are seen through the foliage of orange 
groves, plantain, and tamarind." Alas! the white marble is but 
plaster ! But Tod is not the first that has taken imitation for 
the real. "All is not gold that glitters," even in the wilds of 
Rajpootana. Though it is not marble, it is still very beautiful, 
being a kind of plaster called cimnain, made of pounded shells 
and white of eggs, which takes a beautiful polish and looks like 
the finest marble. To the west of the lake rise some really high 
mountains, and hills surround the happy valley of Oodeypore 

5X0 



OODEYPORE. 



on all sides. I shall, I trust, be able to do a good deal of 
sketching here ; but the weather is getting very hot, and I keep 
from exposing myself to the sun, having received divers warn- 
ings from the faculty not to sketch outside of the house during 
the heat of the day. 

The family of the Rana is descended from Rama, who had 
two sons, Loh and Cush. The eldest, Loh, was the ancestor of 
the Sesodians, while the Cuchwahas of Jeypore are descended 
from Cush, the second son. Tod has a large sheet of genealogy, 
giving the names of all the Rana's progenitors up to B.C. 2200. 
No Sesodian would doubt one of these names, but the mist of 
time has passed over all their deeds, and has left nothing but 
the name. From Vishnu sixty-three names bring one to Ram- 
chunder ; from him to Bappu Rawal there are eighty more, and 
this carries us to A.D. 714, This Bappu first seized on Chitore, 
and was the founder of the Sesodian house. His loin-cloth 
{dhoti) was 500 cubits in length, his sword {khandci) weighed 
64 pounds, and he was himself 20 feet high ! In early life, his 
father having been killed, he was adopted and brought up by 
the Brahmins of Eklinga, where is worshipped Mahadeva under 
the form of the sacred bull. This brazen bull is supposed to be 
the one still in existence whose flank shows the blow inflicted 
by the terrible mace of Mahmood of Ghuznee, who himself broke 
the brass of the image to discover whether there was any trea- 
sure inside. 

At this moment India is preparing to invade Afghanistan : 
will any Hindoo dare to avenge his country's gods on the temples 
of Ghuznee 1 

Bappu, like many conquerors down to the time of Barbarossa, 
is said still to be alive. After founding the power of Mewar, he 
overcame the kings of the west, married their daughters, and. left 
them one hundred and thirty grandsons. Well done, Bappu ! 

The power of the family continued to increase, though not 
without some interludes of misfortune and defeat, till we come 
to Samarsi, who was a contemporary of our friend the Pirthi 
Raj, A.D. 1 193. On the invasion of India by Shabudin, an em- 



152 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



bassy was sent to Samarsi, asking for aid. Chund, the poet, 
gives a description of Samarsi, who, a worthy son of Bappu, had 
not laid aside the office of Regent of Mahadeva." A simple 
necklace of the seeds of the lotus adorned his neck ; his hair 
was braided, and he was addressed as "Jogindra," or Chief of 
Ascetics. He is represented as the Nestor of the host assembled 
to defend India. Nevertheless, in that fatal battle where Pirthi 
Raj was defeated and killed, Samarsi fell " asleep on the banks 
of the Caggar, in the wave of the steel." Then came confusion. 
Many victories were claimed over the Moslem, and much blood 
shed in domestic warfare. Six out of nine ranas perished in 
the field, and we may be assured that they did not perish alone. 
Then came Lakumsi and the sacking of Chitore, A.D. 1275. 
Hamir, A.D. 1301, restored the fortunes of the family, and we are 
told that though his reign lasted sixty-four years, his sword was 
never sheathed. He also regained Chitore. For two hundred 
years the princes of Mewar ruled over not only Jeypore and 
Marwar, but Boondhi, Gwalior, and many other places, and were 
by far the most powerful princes in India, repelling all the in- 
vasions of the Moslem, and even carrying war into the enemy's 
country. Their glory culminated in the defeat and capture of 
Mahmood Sutanof Malwa,an event which led to the building of the 
Tower of Victory at Chitore, so dear to the hearts of Sesodians. 

The murder of Khumboo, the conqueror of Mahmood and 
the builder of the Tower of Victory, by his son, may be placed 
with the murder of Agit, narrated in the account of Jodhpore. 
Ooda, this parricide, is always known in history by the name of 
" Hatiaro," the Murderer. 

The heavens revenged the death of Khumboo, his murderer 
being slain by lightning as he was quitting the royal presence at 
Delhi, where he was seeking aid to recover his own provinces. 
Raemul, the next Rana, was the father of Pirthi Raj, who is the 
Orlando of Sesodian poetry ; and if any one would wish to form 
an idea of what the Hindoo esteems true chivalry, let him read 
in Tod the deeds of this maniac. Incited by his uncle, Sooraj- 
mull, he attempted to kill his elder brother Sanga, to whom a 



OODEYPORE. 



153 



prophet had predicted the throne would descend ; neither did 
Sanga escape without the loss of an eye. Then SoorajmuU, 
becoming too powerful, was attacked. Uncle and nephew met 
in fight. The uncle was covered with wounds, but both being 
worn out, they mutually retired to repose. Soon Pirthi Raj 
quietly goes to see his uncle, and he finds him having his wounds 
sewn up by a barber. 

Pirthi Raj. Uncle, how are your wounds } 

SOORAJMULL. Quite healed, my child, since I have the plea- 
sure of seeing you. 

Pirthi Raj. But, uncle, I have not yet seen the deivanji (his 
father, to whose rescue Pirthi Raj had come). I first ran to see 
you, and I am very hungry : have you anything to eat } 

Dinner is brought, and the two eat off the same platter, nor 
does the nephew refuse the pan at parting. 

Pirthi Raj. You and I will end our battle in the morning. 

SoORAJMULL. Very well, child, but come early. 

The uncle is defeated, and flies to the wilds of Balurro, where 
he and his party form a stockade of trees. One night the neigh- 
ing of horses is heard. " That is my nephew," observes Sooraj- 
muU. In dashes the nephew, and an indiscriminate slaughter 
commences. SoorajmuU at last calls a parley. *'If I am killed it 
matters not. My children are Rajpoots; they will run the country 
to find support ; but if you are slain, what will come to Chitore ? 
My face will be blackened, and my name everlastingly repro- 
bated." The sword was sheathed in a moment, and uncle and 
nephew embraced. Nevertheless, next morning, at a temple hard 
by, during sacrifice, the impetuous Pirthi Raj attacked and finally 
killed Sarangdeo, his uncle's adviser, and offered his head at the 
shrine of the goddess Kali. SoorajmuU fled, and founded the 
state of Pertabgurh. 

Pirthi Raj was poisoned by his brother-in-law, whom he had 
punished for cruelty to his sister ; and Raemul dying soon after, 
Sanga, who had been quietly living in seclusion, succeeded to 
the throne (A.D. 1565). Eighty thousand horse, seven rajahs of 
the highest rank, nine Rao, and one hundred and four chiefs 



154 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



bearing the title of Rawald.ri^ Rawat, and five hundred elephants 
followed him to the field. He defeated the King of Delhi, but in 
A.D. 1528 he met a greater foe, the Emperor Baber, who had just 
established his power in Hindostan. The success of the Rana 
was great at first. The van of the Moslems was cut to pieces, 
and Baber was compelled to throw up entrenchments and chain 
together his cannon. Yet was the mind of the conqueror un- 
easy as to the result of the fight. " On Monday," he says in his 
memoirs, " I mounted to survey my posts, and in the course of 
my ride was seriously struck with the reflection that I had always 
resolved to make an effectual repentance, and that some traces 
of a hankering of forbidden works had ever remained in my 
heart. I said to myself, * Oh, my soul, 

"'How long wilt thou continue to take^pleasure in sin ? 
Repentance is not unpalatable — taste it.' 

Having withdrawn myself from such temptations, I vowed 
never more to drink wine." The wine-cups were broken up, and 
given to dervishes and the poor. The army was sworn on the 
Koran to conquer or die. Nevertheless, for a month the battle 
did not take place, and the delay was fatal to the Rajpoots. A 
Tuar Rajpoot was bribed, and deserted to the enemy during the 
battle ; and Sanga, when victory seemed to incline to his side, 
was forced to retire with the loss- of most of his bravest chiefs. 
He died shortly afterwards. During the reign of his son, Bikra- 
majit, who succeeded his brother, but was a bad ruler, Chitore 
was again sacked by Bahadur of Guzerat, and again were all 
the women killed. The Rana, however, recovered his capital by 
the help of Hamayun. Bunbeer, the bastard son of Pirthi Raj, 
succeeded to the throne by the murder of the Rana, but the real 
heir, Oody Sing, was saved by his nurse. ''He had gone to sleep 
after his rice and milk, when his nurse was alarmed by screams in 
the rawalla, and the bari (barber), coming in to take away the 
remains of the dinner, informed her of the assassination of the 
Rana. The faithful nurse put her charge into a basket, covered 
it with leaves, and placed her own son in its place. Scarcely 



OODEYPORE. 



155 



had she done so when Bunbeer, entering, inquired for the son of 
the Rana. Her lips refused their office ; she pointed to the 
cradle, and beheld the murderer's steel buried in the breast of 
her babe. So was the life of Oody Sing saved, that he might 
ruin Mewar, and give a name to its future capital." In his reign 
Cheetor was again sacked — this time by Akbar. The Rana 
shirked the responsibilities of a campaign ; indeed, unless history 
deceives, we must confess that the capital of Mewar takes its 
name from a coward. Oody Sing's own son said, " Had Oody 
Sing never been, or none intervened between me and Sanga 
Rana, no Toork would have given laws in Rajasthan." From 
this time the history of Mewar is one long series of struggles 
with the Moguls. One story more. Pertap Sing defended Mewar 
against Akbar, but his allies fell off, and he was left alone. 
Maund Sing, the Rajah of Amber (Jeypore) and brother-in-law to 
Akbar, was mortally offended by the refusal of the Rana to eat 
with him. " He could not eat with a Rajpoot who had given his 
sister to a Toork, and probably eaten with him," said the Rana. 
" It was for the preservation of your honour that we sacrificed 
our daughter," cried Maund Sing. ''Abide in peril if such be 
your resolve, for this country shall not hold you. If I do not 
humble your pride, my name is not Maund Sing." So the forces 
of Delhi and the north bore down on Pertap, and bravely he 
faced them. In vain through the battle he sought Maund Sing, 
but he made good his passage to where Selim (Jehanghire, the 
son of Akbar) commanded. His guards fell before Pertap, and, 
but for the steel plates which defended his howdah, the heir of 
Akbar would have fallen by the spear of the Rana. The ma/mit 
was slain, and Selim was only saved by the flight of his elephant. 
Conspicuous by his red umbrella, which distinguishing mark he 
would not (like Lord Nelson) put aside, Pertap was thrice with 
difficulty rescued from amid his foes. Finally Manah seized the 
insignia of royalty and drew off the battle, whilst his prince, who 
had received seven wounds, was forced from the field. With all 
his followers this brave vassal fell, and from that day his de- 
scendants have borne the royal insignia, and enjoyed the right 



156 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



hand of their sovereign. It was artillery alone that won for the 
Moguls the battle of Huldighat. 

Pertap fled on the gallant Chytur, the steed that had borne 
him all the day, pursued by two horsemen. But Chytur was 
wounded, and the pursuers gained on Pertap; already the sound of 
the hoofs on the hard flints sounded in his ears, when he heard, 
in the broad accents of his native tongue, the salutation, " Ho, 
rider of the blue horse ! " He turned : there was but one pursuer, 
and he his brother. 

Sukta, whose enmity to Pertap had made him a traitor to 
Mewar, had beheld the blue horse flying unattended. " Blood is 
thicker than water ! " He joined in the pursuit, but only to stay 
the pursuer, who fell beneath his lance. For the first time the 
brothers embraced in friendship. Here Chytur fell to the ground, 
and as the Rana was mounting Unkarro, presented by his brother, 
the noble steed breathed his last. An altar was afterwards erected, 
which still marks the spot where Chytur fell. Sukta was attached 
to Selim's body-guard, and had great difficulty in explaining his 
absence. At last, on that prince's assurance of forgiveness, he 
owned " the burthen of the kingdom is on my brother's shoulders, 
nor could I witness his danger without defending him from it." 
Selim kept his word, but dismissed the future head of the Suk- 
tavv^ats. Thus were the resources of the Sesodians wasted in 
constant struggles against the Moslem, until at last even the 
energies of the Rajpoots gave way. It is not my intention to 
give a history of the country ; I only give extracts, which are 
illustrative of Rajpoot character, showing the mixture of staunch 
fidelity under all trials, mixed with fickleness and childish incon- 
sistency. For an imagined insult many a rana has been killed, 
while the very name of the descendant of Bappu has called back 
many a Rajpoot to his allegiance. This name is not without its 
power nowadays, though the ranas are sadly shorn of their power. 
The bright light of Maratha usurpation has dulled the lustre of 
the sun of Mewar, but I fancy any one would prefer dealing with 
a Rajpoot, even at this date, than with a Maratha. The one is a 
gentleman, and the other a parvenu. But let any one in treating 



OODEYPORE. 



with natives remember that their code of honour is not the same 
as ours. Even Colonel Tod, whose book on Rajasthan I have so 
freely quoted, and who is a firm and enthusiastic believer in 
Rajpoots, in his private letters to the Government, which I have 
seen, has no term of abuse too great for the conduct of the 
Rana and his son. Surely, the native is a difficult study ! 

The first day of my stay here the Maharana came to sec my 
host, Colonel Impey, his political agent. Sujjan Sing, Maharana 
of Oodeypore, and the representative of the oldest dynasty in 
India, dating from the sun (who dare go farther back ?), is 
eighteen years old. He is a large, stout, heavy-looking lad, with 
a curious face, having the long almond eyes one sees in old 
native pictures, said to be the characteristic of the Sesodian race, 
of which he is the head. He has, unfortunately, suffered much 
from small-pox, and his face is considerably disfigured.* He is 
decidedly amiable-looking, and not devoid of intelligence. I had 
met him at Delhi ; so that he received me as an old friend, and 
willingly undertook to sit, though he seemed somewhat to dread 
the operation. He has just come into " his own ; " the state has 
been handed over to his charge, and he is very anxious to do the 
right thing. 

In the afternoon, on our way to row on the lake, we drove 
through the town. I should say that Oodeypore is smaller and 
its streets much less crowded than Jodhpore, neither is there so 
much to see in the town. The tracery windows do not here 
exist, for easily-worked stone cannot be had on the spot, as at 
Jodhpore. There are many handsome ornaments, however, made 
of cJiunani. 

The evening on the lake was delightful ; we were rowed about 
by four men in a broad flat-bottomed boat ; and finally we landed 
at Jugnawas, one of the islands mentioned above, and were shown 
round the palace, or rather villa. Here there are several very 

* Many rajahs are much disfigured by this disease. On my first interview 
with the Maharana, he told me that he had been many months ill and suffered 
greatly. I took the opportunity of urging the advisability of enforcing vacci- 
nation. 



158 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



original decorations, of which I have also since seen specimens 
in the palace. They are made in panels, the patterns being 
filled in with pieces of coloured glass cut into shapes. The effect 
is really very good, where, as is frequently the case, the pattern is 
composed of flowers or trees; but it is very comic when figures are 
introduced, the faces being drawn and then covered with coloured 
glass. There was also a series of scenes of hunting done in bas- 
relief, and coloured with very harmonious effect. The gardens on 
the island are very well kept, and are celebrated for their oranges. 

The other island is the one where Shah Jehan, when flying 
from the wrath of his father Jehanghire, was entertained by the 
rana of the day. The palace there I have not yet seen, but I 
am told it is in bad condition. 

The keeper of the Jugnawas said the lake was very deep : 'Tut 
one elephant on another, and a third on the top, and you would 
not reach the surface." Yet was this lake quite dry during the 
great drought of '67, when thousands of people all through Raj- 
pootana died of starvation, and no one heard a word. Two years 
ago the lake overflowed, and caused much damage both to the 
decorations of the palace and to the town generally. 

Yesterday we (Col. Impey and self) paid a return visit to the 
Maharana. We were received at the door by a crowd of cour- 
tiers, and led with much ceremony along several passages, up 
steep stairs, and through courts, to the presence. There is a curious 
feature to be remarked in all really Indian palaces, viz., that the 
doors are ridiculously small and the stairs terribly steep. There 
was not a door in this palace of Oodeypore through which a 
moderately-sized man could pass without stooping. Why, I 
wonder Is it to force people to bow when they come into a room 1 

We are led finally into a pleasantly shaded courtyard, where 
we find the Rana seated with his Court. He rises to receive us, 
but does not leave his place. I notice also that he has his shoes 
on. Both he and his Court are all in white, and he wears but few 
jewels on such occasions, as he says gems are not in good taSte ! 

I observe he has thick gold bangles on his feet. In the morning 
I had been looking at some jewellery here, and asked for such 



OODEYPORE. 



bangles ; but I was told that no one out of the palace is allowed 
to wear gold on his feet. 

One great characteristic of all these Sesodians is their hatred 
of anything Moslem. They say that no rana will use a Persian 
word if he can help it, and certain it is that many of them took, 
amongst other titles, that of King of the Hindoos and Enemy 
of the King of Delhi. The last Rana died young, " of nothing 
to do, and too much time to do it in," the usual complaint of 
these people, which leads to the use of stimulants, opium, or even 
worse. One great chief was heard to declare that it was waste 
of time to get drunk on anything weaker than cherry brandy 1 
A celebrated drink called the "Puttiala Peg," which I have already 
described as consisting of half brandy and half champagne, effec- 
tually did for its princely inventor in four years. 

The present Rana was chosen by the Court here, on the death 
of his cousin, his father, who was a man of turbulent disposition, 
and had been in disgrace, being passed over. The father is 
yet alive, and lives at some distance from Oodeypore, being for- 
bidden to see or in any way influence his son. The uncle of the 
present Rana also put in his claim to the guddec, and had it not 
been for the influence exercised by the paramount Power, there 
would have been a nice row in Mewar. 

A sitting was fixed for this afternoon in the Jugnawas, on the 
island, and we were invited to dine afterwards with the Maharana 
in the new English palace, built by his predecessor, and newly 
furnished by His Highness. By-the-bye, this palace is a sad eye- 
sore on the otherwise beautiful line of the other buildings, being 
of Indian classic, surely the most debased style of all architecture. 

I was then shown over the palace. There were innumerable 
small rooms, all highly decorated, with pictures let into the wall, 
and elaborate patterns made of coloured glass all over wall and 
ceiling. Several apartments had pigeonholes of looking-glass, in 
each of which was placed some small glass box, or jug, or vase. 
The effect was savage ; but the light being, of course, admitted 
only through the smallest possible windows, and these very often 
covered with patterns (done in chunam), the effect, somehow. 



i6o 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



was very rich. There were two rooms done with blue tiles, im- 
ported, \ should say, from Holland ; and one covered all over, 
ceiling and all, with the old familiar willow-pattern plate ! It 
really looked very cool and pleasant. It is strange what mate- 
rials these men will use for decorative purposes. I remember 
seeing, at one of the camps at Delhi, a looking-glass brought 
for sale, of inlaid ivory- work, flowers, &c. "Dear me!" said I 
to myself, " that looks very pretty ! " On examining it, I found 
the flowers were made from shirt buttons, the holes being filled 
with metal rivets. In this palace I saw two portraits of one of 
the later ranas, with very elaborate frames made of glass and 
plaster, in which were solid glass bosses composed of those well- 
known paper weights, with flowers and views of Brighton, found 
at all sea-side bazaars. 

There were many life-sized figures on the walls, sculptured in 
alto relievo, and coloured ; most of them of ladies ministering to 
the sacred sun — the royal crest of Mewar. 

Altogether the decorations were the most truly original I have 
seen in India, and certainly had one of the great elements of 
beauty discovered by Ruskin, namely, " Surprise." 

My first sitting went ofl" very well, as Impey accompanied me 
and talked the whole time with the Maharana. I don't think 
his Highness will be pleased with his portrait, for his complexion 
is very dark, and I have been truthful in rendering the chocolate 
tinge of his skin. What am I to do } Must I sacrifice fact to 
please my sitters } There is not one of them that does not wish 
to be made white skinned like a European ! 

It is extraordinary how quick the mind of man is to take pre- 
judices, and how soon a chief acquires a knowledge of the forms 
and ceremonies incumbent on his position. This boy, three years 
ago, was running about in his paternal village, with his father in 
disgrace, and with no notion of the honour in store for him. He is 
now quite the Rana. At Bombay, when the Prince arrived, he got 
into a great scrape for refusing to walk after the Guicowar; and 
to-day, while sitting, he said, " There are but few real dynasties 
of good caste left in India." There are Sattara, and Nepal, and 



OODEVPORE. 



l6l 



Kolhapore," said Impey. " Kolhapore was good caste," said our 
young friend ; " but they are nothing now, for they have given 
a daughter to the Guicowar, a mere herdsman." 

After the sitting we bundle off home to dress for dinner. We are 
driven at 7 p.m. to the palace and up a narrow lane, with barely six 
inches on each side of the wheels of the carriage, and then still 
up, amidst the well-known strains of God Save the Queen," to 
the English palace. All around are coloured lanterns and bow- 
ing officials, who conduct us to our feeding-chamber. The palace 
is not badly done. It is neither worse nor better than a first- 
class Indian-European house, and except, perhaps, that there is 
as usual an over-abundance of musical box, the whole thing is in 
very good taste. The dinner table is laid out in high European 
style, with candelabra and fountain, silver elephant and golden 
calf, and such things as one might see on the table of Mr. Jones 
of Manchester. Presently the Maharana arrives, and we sit down 
to an excellent dinner (cooked by Impey's cook) and lirst-rate 
wines provided by the Maharana. Lord Northbrook was lodged 
here on his visit to Oodeypore last year, and so the service is 
more complete than any I- have seen. 

When the eating is over, the Maharana joins us, and we duly 
drink the health of first the Empress, and then his Highness, the 
band playing variations on " God Save the Queen " meanwhile. 
Then we go up to the first floor, where there is only one room, a 
very handsome one, leading on to a large terrace, which extends 
over all the suite we have dined in. Here we are shown fireworks 
on the lake, with which, of course, we were delighted, but which 
were no great shakes, and afterwards a naiitch. They dance the 
giLinmer here, but only with eight women, and with none of the 
swing of Jodhpore. A dance with sticks was rather pretty. At 
half-past ten we retire, with garlands and attar and pan, amidst 
a shower of rockets and fizz of catherine-wheels. 

Yesterday (nth March) I had another sitting, and moreover 
made a sketch from the Jugnawas before the Maharana arrived. 
His Highness sat in his durbar dress, all in white, with no orna- 

11 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



ments, but some pearls round pngree and neck.* After the sitting 
the Maharana took us out for a row on the lake. The more I 
see of him the more convinced I am of his good-nature and good 
intentions ; and if he can only have the sense to keep clear 
of the evil advisers who must necessarily be around his throne, 
and who constantly strive to make him foolishly puffed up with 
pride, he will make a very good ruler. Alas ! ranas have always 
been good-natured, but weak. In Tod's time the Rana was con- 
stantly giving away village after village to favourites, men and 
women ; and when expostulated with, and told that soon there 
would be nothing left, he said, "Well, never mind my siimids 
(orders), let them go for nothing." Again, when ill, they have a 
distressingly extravagant way of having themselves weighed, bed 
and bedding included, against gold, and then flinging an equiva- 
lent sum amongst the crowd. One-third of the provinces belongs 
to the Brahmins and "charitable institutions," which means here 
the support of such idle vagabonds ; one-third belongs to the 
thakoors, or nobles, and one-third to the Rana ; yet with all that 
he has to carry on the state, and pay his tribute, &c. The feudal 
system holds good here as in all Rajpootana. Each thakoor is 
independent, and rules his state, administering the laws as 
though he were king. He owns allegiance and military service 
to his chief, the head of the state. Only recently we have intro- 
duced a Court of Appeal, in which cases decided by the thakoors 
can be re-heard at head-quarters. 

Some of the thakoors are rich, and have titles — Rajah or Rao— 
with ^20,000 a year, and they want constantly keeping in order. 
I heard that Jodhpore was preparing to carry war and desolation 
into the country of two disobedient thakoors while I was at his 
capital. I wish I had time to go to see the fun. The army of 
Jodhpore mobilized would be a queer sight. 

There are sixteen great thakoors of the highest class in Mewar, 
of whom the Rao of Baedla is now the head. He is a very 
pleasant old gentleman, very sharp, having vast influence with 

* This simple attire reminded me of the description given before of Sa- 
marsi, who hked to be called " Jogindra, or chief of the Ascetics." 



OODEYPORE. 



the Rana. and happily very well disposed towards the English 
Raj. At Delhi he was given the title of Rajah, but he did not 
seem very pleased; "For," said he, "the same title was given to 
a seth, a mere merchant, at Ajmere." Natives cannot quite un- 
derstand the levelling tendency of English law. 

On one day of the year, "the 3rd of the month Cheyt," the 
Baedla Rao is conducted to Court with all the royal symbols of 
Mewar, and the Rana, advancing to the Ganesa Dcori, or Hall of 
Ganesh, the elephant-headed God of Wisdom, conducts him by 
the hand to the hall of audience, only the Rao's hand is above 
that of his sovereign. These honours date from 1569, when the 
ancestor of Rao did good service at the battle of Huldi Ghat. 
The Baedla Rao is of the Chohan class of Rajpoots. 

Another of the sixteen whom I saw was the Rawat of Saloom- 
bra. As the head of the Chondawats, the descendants of Chonda, 
whom I have mentioned, he has the right of placing his sign — a 
lance — before the Rana's. which is the palm of a hand, on all 
treaties. This dates from A. D. 1389, when Chonda surrendered 
the throne to his younger brother. 

This story is a very remarkable instance of the generosity of a 
Rajpoot. Lakha Rana was advanced in years, his sons and grand- 
sons established in suitable domains, when the cocoa-nut came 
from Rinmul, Prince of Marwar, to affiance his daughter with 
Chonda, the heir of Mewar. Chonda was absent when Lakha 
received the embassy. " My son," said the Rana, " will shortly 
return and take up the gage, for you would hardly send such a 
plaything to an old grey-beard like me." Here the Rana twisted 
his moustachios, and the courtiers laughed. Chonda heard of the 
jest, " and, offended at delicacy being sacrificed to wit, refused 
the symbol which his father had even in jest supposed might be 
intended for him." Now, as it could not be returned without gross 
insult to the Rajah of Marwar, the old Rana agreed to accept it, 
provided Chonda would agree to renounce his birthright in the 
event of his having a son by this new wife, and to be to the child 
but " the first of his Rajpoots." Chonda swore by Eklinga to 
fulfil his father's wishes. A son was born ; but when he had 

u— 2 



164 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



attained the age of five, Lakha Rana, finding age creeping on 
him, wished to end his days at the sacred city, Gya. Before he 
left, however, he wished to settle the succession, and asked 
Chonda what estates were to be settled on the youthful Mokulji. 

The throne of Chitore," was Chonda's reply ; and at the instal- 
lation he was the first to swear fealty, reserving to himself the 
right of signing as I have mentioned. His life was one of devotion 
to his younger brother, whom he saved from the usurpation of 
his grandfather Rinmul, whose departure from Mundore was 
celebrated in the gummer dance I described above. 

The present Rawat is a pleasant gentlemanly man of about 
thirty-five. Alas ! he has a most fearful eye, and will not be 
operated on. Saloombra, his castle, is a beautiful place, and well 
worth a visit, but I fear I cannot get there, though he was warm 
in his ofters of hospitality. Others of the sixteen I saw. They 
are all distinguished by having a gold band round the turban, 
and sit on the right of the Maharajah on state occasions in a 
regular order. Below these sixteen sits the eldest son and heir 
to the throne, and then the rest of the royal family. This law 
was made when the Rana was obliged to sue for peace from 
Jehanghire. He was excused personal attendance at Delhi, but 
the heir-apparent was made to serve in the Imperial Court. A sad 
blow this to the pride of the King of the Hindoos and Enemy of 
the King of Delhi, and to mark their sense of the degradation they 
then underwent,their sons are even yet degraded below the sixteen. 

When we made our treaty, and they acknowledged our 
suzerainty, they stipulated that they were not to be bound by 
the treaty should our Raj ever be transferred to the Moslem. 
On Lord W. Bentinck's visit to Ajmere, the Rana was made to 
go to see him, but before starting he sent in a list of stipulations, 
and one was that on this occasion he was willing to go to the 
G.-G., but that it must not be taken as a precedent, for in future 
the G.-G. must come to him ! 

Things are changed now : our young friend the Rana has been 
to Bombay to meet the Prince of Wales, and to Delhi to acknow- 
ledge the Empress of India. There are those about him who 



OODEYPORE. 



165 



would still urge the absurdities of the olden time; and I have no 
doubt that, if left to themselves, they would, as in bygone days 
they undoubtedly did, make the sacrifice of a Bheel when the 
Maharana crosses the Matic river. Within the last forty years 
this sacrifice was certainly made ; the man had his throat cut, 
and his body was thrown into the river. 

Meanwhile my sittings have gone on well, and I am on the 
most friendly terms with the Maharana and Court. One of my 
friends is the chantn, or Court Bard. The other day, while the 
Rana was talking business, this man and the favourite tJuikooVy 
Manoa Sing, came to me and said, " We wish you to stop here, 
for you do not seem as melancholy as the rest of the English." 
I told them they were only complimenting my digestive organs, 
which happened to be better than those of most Anglo-Indians. 
From that our talk fell on poetry, and I was asked to write some 
for them. I composed that night a doggerel rhyme, which I 
sent the Maharana, to draw out my friend ihe charim. 

At the next sitting my lines were produced and read aloud 
by one of the Court who understands English. Then, line by 
line, it was translated into Hindoostani, the Court and Maha- 
rana marking their approval by nodding their heads. When 
the reading and translation were over, the charun^ as if inspired, 
called for paper and pencil, and after having collected his ideas, 
pencil in mouth, produced his reply. This was written in the 
Court language of Oodeypore, which contains a number of 
Hindoo and Sanscrit words, and proved a hard nut for the staff 
of the Residency to crack. However, by laying their heads 
together, they evolved the following very literal translation. 

" We have heard Prinsep sahib, most excellent and priceless ; 
If we too knew English, then would we speak with open heart. 
Men wish to remain near you, Prinsep sahib; 
But this causes them to hesitate, that he returns to his country. 
Keep your favours on us like the shadow of an afternoon, 
Remember us ever in your native land, and forget us not." 

The chamn or poet was particularly pleased with the simile of 
the afternoon sun. The morning shade is not good," he ex- 
plained ; " since, however great it is, as the sun rises it gets ever 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



smaller; but the afternoon shade, though it begins small, ever 
increases, till thousands can sit in it ! " 

You see I am on pretty good terms with the Court here ; 
indeed, one of the sixteen, Manoa Sing, invited me to stay with 
him for good and teach him to paint. Oodeypore has been alto- 
gether a very pleasant place for me. The political agent, my 
cousin, and his wife were most hospitable, and the comfort of 
their house after the roughing I went through on the journey was 
most acceptable. And here let me bear witness to the universal 
politeness that I have received from all natives ift Rajpootana, 
from the highest to the lowest. The cordiality with which they 
greet you in street and market-place is very different from the 
surly indifference you meet in our own states. No doubt, there 
things are better administered, and the people ought to be happy, 
but they do not look so, nor is the amusement and fun of a purely 
Indian town to be found in our provinces. Perchance they have 
caught the melancholy of the European, from which happily I am 
exempt. 

Thursday, the 15th, was a busy day. First my letters had to 
be finished for the mail, then I had to go to the palace to see the 
Hooli played. The proper day for the Hooli was a fortnight 
ago, on the day on which it was kept at Jodhpore; but the Maha- 
rana, for some reason of his own, postponed it till this day, for 
the Maharana is above all considerations of time, and, like an 
admiral v^'ho "makes it eight bells" by firing a gun, can make it 
Hooli when it suits him. The Hooli is, as I said before, the 
Saturnalia of the Hindoos — a feast to the Bona Dea, in which 
Priapic worship mingles. " Great people play the fool and feast," 
said my servant Noor Khan, who is a Mohammedan. At 9.30, 
then. Col. Impey and myself go to the palace, where a state 
place is prepared for us in the great square. On the north 
side rise the towers of the palace, the east is formed by the pic- 
turesque gate, the south by a line of low buildings, which are 
crowded, roof and all, with the vulgar crowd; on the western side, 
in a kind of pavilion, we sit in state. There are some thirty 
elephants, on which are mounted all the tJiakoors and the elite 



OODEVPORE. 



167 



of Oodeypore society, for it is the Court alone that keeps the 
feast to-day. The great game is to pelt everybody with red 
powder made of cinara nuts, and called abira, and coloured a 
rich crimson. The Maharana, when we took our places, was 
playing the Hooli in the Zenana. Presently out he comes already 
much ruddled. Down goes his elephant : he mounts, and the 
Hooli begins. The Maharana is in white as usual, but covered, 
as I have said, with red dust ; he wears the jama or large old- 
fashioned Rajpoot petticoat, and on his head a high tinselly 
aigrette. The thakoors are similarly attired. The elephants, 
already in a line, advance, and each man throws a handkerchief 
of red powder towards the chief, who advances and returns the 
compliment. The powder is thrown by means of a handkerchief 
tied round the wrist at one end, while the fingers hold the other, 
thus making a kind of sling. The scrimmage now begins: every- 
body pelts his neighbour. Anon the elephants form a circle and 
career round ; again they form two lines and engage in mimic 
fight, till great clouds of red dust arise, and the air is thick with 
powder. The effect was very extraordinary under the fierce sun, 
with the blue atmosphere and white buildings around. The 
Maharana sent us a tray of balls about the size of pomegranates, 
which were made of some thin brittle substance, and filled with 
red powder. With these I made some good practice at the Chief 
and his friends on the elephants, and as the balls fell and popped 
on the backs of the huge beasts, the crowd below applauded, 
shouting " Wah ! wah ! " The whole scene reminded me of a 
carnival at Rome in the old days. 

After an hour a procession is formed, and, all alike as red as 
blood, follow the Maharana through the town. Passing an enor- 
mous elephant who is kept in a corner of the palace yard, the 
Maharana .does not forget to salute him with a shower of dbira. 
Of this elephant more anon. Having let them clear off, we return 
to the Residency, and in the afternoon I go to sketch at Jugnawas, 
where the Maharana has also a gathering of swells. I discreetly 
keep to a corner of the island, so as not to disturb the festivities, 
which are sometimes wild and fast. In some places every one 



i68 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



gets drunk ; here, however, they keep within bounds, as we had 
an opportunity of knowing, for the Maharana later on came into 
our boat and went with us to the palace to show us an elephant 
fight. He is most simple and cordial in his manners, and I 
should think astonishes people here with his friendliness to us, 
coming and going with us alone, without any ceremony or fuss. 

It is dark by the time we get to our destination, which is a 
gallery overlooking the great square, in which the Hooli was 
held. We are in a corner, and just below us, by help of torches, 
we discover the great musf elephant, whose acquaintance I 
had the honour of making before. He is enclosed by a wall 
some 5 feet high and 4 feet broad, and as he moves we hear 
the jangling of the mighty chains round his legs. His mahout 
is quietly sitting on his back, and making himself comfortable 
for the fray. Presently more jangling is heard, and another mag- 
nificent beast appears dragging his chains after him, and sur- 
rounded by men with torches and spears. His chains weigh 
some 10 maunds, a maund being 80 pounds. The name of the 
new arrival is "Ganesh," and he is called after the God of Wisdom, 
the son of Siva. The story is that Siva, in a drunken fit, cut off 
his son's head, and when expostulated with by his wife, in grim 
jest put on the head of an elephant, and so Ganesh, the God of 
Wisdom, is always represented. The first elephant's name is 
"Manuk Gudge," or the Ruby elephant, gudge'' being Persian 
for elephant. The Maharana would never use such a word, but 
mahouts are all Moslems. 

" Ganesh " quickly sights his rival, and approaches the wall, 
where old Manuk " rushes at him. Smash go their heads ; 
their tusks clash, for " Ganesh " receives " Manuk," with trunk 
up and mouth open, on his tusks. Backwards and forwards they 
sway, sometimes lifted off their front legs, sometimes with their 
hind legs quite flat on the ground. Sometimes they remain 
locked as though carved in black marble, and it is only by the 
clank of their chains that one realizes that they are alive. Then 
they separate and breathe. Then bang goes " Manuk " again, 
and Ganesh'' is ready to receive him on his tusks as before. 



OODEYPORE. 



Sometimes they get pushed round, and had there been no wall 
mischief would have ensued. 

With varying results the combat lasts full an hour, and all 
the time the rival mahouts encourage their mighty beasts by 
clapping them on the head with their hands, and shouting. 
Finally we express ourselves satisfied ; but they have great diffi- 
culty in persuading "Ganesh" he has had enough. Thus is the 
battle drawn ; and surlily, surrounded as before by a company of 
spearmen, he jangles off to his home, and we have to wait till 
he is well chained before we can venture forth. 

Elephants, when " must," are most dangerous, and, although 
they can be cured after some months' physicking, they are never 
quite safe afterwards. The mahout can always tell when the fit' 
is coming on from a curious exudation from a hole just above 
the eye. With all that I should not like to be a mahout. They 
are all Mohammedans, and never live long, the motion of driving 
an elephant being most injurious. 

I had a sitting next day, to finish the Maharana's portrait. It 
is the best I have yet done, as he has given me a better chance 
than any of the others, sitting both better and longer. He was 
evidently pleased with my work, and said, "At first I did not 
think I should like it, but now I like it too well." 

I had arranged to set out on the 17th, but the i8th was the 
Gungore, or women's festival, and by the especial invitation of 
the Maharana I graciously consented to stay and witness the 
tomashay which is celebrated with special splendour in Oodey- 
pore. The 17th I spent in sketching. I went also to see the 
Jugmunda, the farther island, where I had not yet landed. 
Here is the home built by Rana Kurna for Shah Jehan. This 
prince, the son of Jehanghire, was the first who subdued the 
Sesodian pride, and to whom a Rana surrendered. He was then 
the second son of Jehanghire, and went by his name, Khurm. 
He was so kind, and softened the disgrace he brought on the 
Rana with so much consideration, that, when he revolted against 
his father, Mewar sided with him, and in his subsequent disgrace 
he found a home in Oodeypore. To avoid the scandal daily 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



brought about by the conduct of his followers in slaughtering 
sacred animals, it was found convenient to lodge him in an island, 
and the Palace of Jugmunda was built. A pleasant place this 
island, with a most lovely view of the blue hills and glistening 
towers of Oodeypore. Here is the chair of state, prepared by the 
care of the Rana, for the future Emperor of the hated Moslems; 
and here, too, is a mosque for him to worship in according to 




THE ISLAND OF JUGMUNDA, FROM JUGNAWAS, OODEYPORE. 



his belief. Pleasant courts and gardens there are, with rich de- 
corations, and some of the best figure work I have seen in India. 
Alas! the floods two years ago have destroyed much that was 
good, as in the neighbouring island of Jugnawas, and the gardens 
have not yet recovered their pristine splendour. 

It was reserved for the Rana to hail Shah Jehan Emperor of 
Hindostan, and he was crowned in the palace hard by. Em- 
peror and Rana, in sign of brotherly affection, changed pugrees^ 
and Shah Jehan's is still to be seen in the treasury of Oodey- 
pore ; while on the island is still kept trimmed the light that, 
burnt before the shrine at which he worshipped ; a curious in- 
stance of the tolerance of the Hindoo. Fancy a Moslem doing 
the same for anybody else's gods ! 

On the afternoon of the i8th I drove to the Gungore ghdty 
where we have usually taken boat for our excursions on the lake. 
I found the streets full of people, mostly women, who squatted 
close together on parapet, corner, and housetop, in many-coloured 



OODEYPORE. 



171 



sari and petticoat, looking like wonderfully arranged bouquets 
of flowers. I was taken to a room over the archway leading to 
the ghdt^ from which there was a good view on the one side of the 
steep street leading from the upper town to the lake, and on the 
other of the ghat, or landing-place, with the lake itself. The 
Gungore, I must explain, is the Feast of Mata, the wife of Siva, 
the goddess-mother, under her name, Gouri, she being the par- 
ticular deity of Oodeypore."^ On this one day she is brought 
from the precincts of her shrine in each Zenana to the lake, by 
the brink of which her image, clad in yellow, is placed, and 
'midst song and solemn dance the goddess drinks and bathes. 
Formerly no men were allowed to profane the procession with 
their presence, and the Rana himself, from his state barge, 
salaamed to the sacred images. The festival became so popular 
that it was found convenient to increase the number of the 
days, and the Gungore at Oodeypore now lasts a week. 

Down the narrow street image after image is borne, surrounded 
by singing women, for there is no quarter of the town so poor 
but it subscribes for its figure ; and down, too, on capering and 
dancing steeds (such as are dear to the heart of rich Hindoos), or 
on mighty elephants, come the thakoors and swells to wait the 
coming of the Maharana. By the side of the ghat is moored the 
state barge of Oodeypore, a large vessel with stem and stern 
turned up, and rising some 10 feet from the lake. On the bows 
is the place of the Maharana, and on the steps forming the in- 
cline, according to their rank, are reserved the places of the six- 
teen great thakoors. These take their places as they arrive. 
Presently the chief appears on horseback, with about twenty 
richly-caparisoned steeds led before him, as becomes a rajah. He 
bows to me as he passes under the arch over which I am sitting, 
and, led by two chamberlains, takes his place on the bows. His 
suite stand in the body of the boat, and about forty gaily-clad 
iiaiitch girls squat in the stern, forming a most extraordinary com- 
bination of gaudy colours, which seem somehow to blend into a 

* Goiiri means yellow, and although celebrated in the spring, Mata, Isa, 
Parvati, or KaH— for by all these names is this goddess known — is at this 
season the Ceres of the Rajpoots, 



1/2 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



harmonious whole. The boat is pushed from the side, and, slowly- 
paddled by sixteen rowers (eight a side) in crimson and pink, 
glides over the calm bosom of the lake. It is a ravishing sight. 
The old Biicentoro might have beaten it for rich harmony, but 
for originality never was there anything like the state barge of 
Oodeypore. 

I too get into a rowing-boat, and quickly overtake the more 
ponderous barge, to have a good look at it by the twilight. Alas ! 
too short a time does the Indian twilight last. By the time the 
Maharana in all his splendour has paraded himself past the lake 
palaces, where, carefully hidden by thick purdahs, the queens 
can gaze on their lord and master, it is dark. Then by the torches 
on the ghat we know that the palace Gungore has arrived, and 
we hasten back. The steps are covered with white linen, and 
to the edge are brought three highly-dressed dolls. Close by lies 
the state barge, with its freight, thakoors, with their voluminous 
white petticoats and nodding gold and silver plumes, Rajah, 
nautch girls, and all. The women chaunt a solemn hymn, and 
OQcasionally bow to the figures, while ever and anon, in time to 
the air, many silver chowries flash in the light. Imagine all this 
by torchlight, and you have a scene not to be forgotten. 

The Rana gets up and bows to the figures, and the women, 
bearing them aloft, troop back home to their solitude, for the 
Gungore is the only day they are allowed to leave the Zenana. 

The Maharana then sends for me to his barge, where, advancing 
through the ranks of the assembled thakoors, I receive attar and 
pdn, and a har or garland, from his Highness's hands. Many 
civil words are exchanged between us through an interpreter. I 
don't know whether the Maharana is sincere in his words of regret, 
but I can vouch for the fact that I am, and that I never was more 
sorry to leave any place than Oodeypore. The Maharana wishes 
me " God speed ;" I shake hands with him and with several of 
the thakoors with whom I have made acquaintance, say good bye 
to my friend the chartin or bard, and rush off* to dine with my 
hospitable friends the Impeys. 



CHAPTER XI. 



CHITORE, AGRA, MUTTRA, AND ULWAR. 

AT nine I left Oodeypore in a coach and four. I travelled all 
night, and, as the roads were good, made considerable way 
during the hours of darkness. At daybreak I turned round to 
catch a last look of the Aravalli, but alas ! the mountains had 
disappeared. Farewell Oodeypore ! farewell Lake Pechola and 
its fairy islands ! farewell to the land of romance. Good bye! I 
shall have to say to thee, O Tod ! but once more I must turn to 
thy bulky quarto, for I am to be at Chitore to-night ; and then I 
return to Agra and civilization. I am writing still in the land of 
Mewar, at Nembhera, sixty-three miles from Oodeypore. To- 
wards the north-east and east these lands have been sadly cur- 
tailed. Towards the north, between Mewar and Marwar, the 
vegetable limits of Mewar are very exact, they say. It was 
Chonda who first fixed the boundary with Jodha, the founder 
of Jodhpore. Hence the Rajpoot distich — 

" Aonla, aonla, Mewar ; 
Bawal, bawal, Marwar." 

Wherever the aonla puts forth its yellow blossoms, there is Me- 
war; where the babool begins, there begins Marwar. This division 
held good for years. I fear, however, the fanciful limit of Chonda 
does not now hold good to the north. To the south and east, 
neighbours like Sindia and Holkar have not spared the King of 
the Hindoos. Many a village and district has been seized by 
these Maratha robbers, and are still held by their agents, in the 
midst of the plains of Mewar. 

Pleasant enough it was to drive over these plains in the early 

173 



174 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



morning, with the ripening corn all ablaze against the rising sun, 
and the trees throwing long shadows across the green fields of 
poppy and maize. The poppies have lost their glory, for of the 
masses of blossom I saw three weeks ago, but one or two remain, 
blushing unseen, like the last rose of summer ; but to make amends, 
the fields are full of country-folk — man, woman, and child — all 
scraping the slit pods for the precious juice which, when dry, is 
sold as opium, and the bright saries and dhotis of red, blue, 
yellow and white, form, as they glitter in the level sun, a study 
indeed. So I roll along in the Rana's carriage. Too soon, how- 
ever, does the sun assert himself, and oh ! how hot it gets ! 
Under sketching umbrella (double best) and hood of carriage I 
recline, and drink in artistic effects till I reach here (Nembhera) 
at 10.30. At four I take carriage again, and drive on to Chitore, 
the ancient capital of Mewar, where I propose stopping the night, 
that I may inspect the wonders of that city in the morning. 

While changing horses at a small village, I saw a curious custom 
of the cultivators of the soil. A group of these, either Bheels, 
Menas, or Jats, I am not learned enough to decide which, was 
squatting under a tree by the roadside. Then comes a man, 
evidently a traveller, but well known. They all stand up, and the 
newly-arrived goes round to each, placing his right hand under 
the knee, while the man so saluted places his hand under the 
armpit. They all cry ^'Raml Ram!'' The land of Mewar belongs 
of course, to Rajpoots, but it is cultivated by these Bheels, Jats, 
or Menas, who were the original possessors of the soil. They are, 
in fact, serfs of no caste. All natives have a pretty way of putting 
flowers behind their ears or in their pttgrees. They have, of 
course, no button-holes. I once saw a Rajpoot go up to a Bheel 
who had so stuck a yellow flower, and tear it from his ear. For 
the ancient treatment of these aboriginal tribes by the dominant 
Rajpoot I refer you to Tod. Oaths and promises were never kept 
by the latter, and even when a Mena or a chief of that tribe pro- 
tected and fed one of these Rajpoot heroes, on the first favour- 
able occasion the guest turned on his host, who was often his 
father-in-law, and slew him, and took his land. It is pleasant, 



CHITORE, AGRA, MUTTRA, AND ULWAR. 1/5 



however, to find some exception to this ingratitude. Bappu, the 
founder of the Sesodian race, and the first Sesodian of Chitore, 
had to fly from Nagda, about A.D. 720, to escape vengeance for 
some youthful freak. He was accompanied in his flight by two 
Bheels, Ballo and Dewa. These faithful companions assisted at 
the drawing the teeka of sovereignty on the brow of their master; 
and to the present day the descendant of Ballo draws the tceka 
on the forehead of the sovereign of Mewar, and places him on 
his throne, while the descendant of Dewa holds the tray contain- 
ing the rice and spice mixed with blood, to make the sacred 
mark. The blood comes from the thumb of the Bheel. 

The road to-day has been along a plain ; only towards evening 
do I see hills, and when I arrive at the Chitore bungalow I am 
aware of a height looming through the darkness. To my horror, 
when I wake in the morning, I see the ruins of Chitore on a lofty 
hill some way off! On inquiry, I find Chitoregurh, the modern 
town, at the foot of the hill, is a koss (two miles) off; and that the 
old town (alas! don't I see it.^) is on a cliff above the modern one. 
I see, however, the ascent is all in shadow; so, after a frugal break- 
fast, I start to explore. Half-way to Chitoregurh I meet an 
official sent by the hakim of that town, to see my wants supplied. 
This young man accompanies me back to the town, and sends a 
cicerone with me to explain. Chitore proper, the Old Chitore, is 
on the top of a high hill that reminds me somewhat of the fort 
of Gwalior. I saw the fortifications meandering away in the 
distance, but in the hot sun and on foot I could not explore suffi- 
ciently to ascertain the dimensions of the old city. It was evi- 
dently big, from the ground I walked over, like Falstaff, "larding 
the lean earth " as I went. 

Here was the bazaar ; alas ! now a desert, with a palm-tree 
growing "where merchants most did congregate." Here the 
palace, here the temple — in good preservation — and here the 
Tower of Victory. This last is really very fine, not quite so high as 
the Kootub, perhaps, and not of so precious a material as Giotto's 
Tower at Florence, but quite as original as the first, and even 
more wrought than the second. It is built of yellow-looking 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



stone, which must be very hard, for the carving is as sharp as 
ever. But I hear it was struck by lightning some years ago, 
and some of the upper stones are displaced. I see also a tree 
beginning to grow, which is sure before long to bring the build- 
ing to the ground. I trust either the Government of the Rana 
or the paramount Power will do something for it. 

It was Rana Khoombho who built this "aigrette on the brow 
of Chitore, which makes her look down upon Meru with deri- 
sion." The foundation was laid, according to Tod, in A.D. 145 1, 
eleven years after the victory over the Sultan of Guzerat, which 
it was intended to immortalize, "when shaking the earth the lords 
of Goojurkund (Guzerat) and Malwa, with armies overwhelming 
as an ocean, invaded Medpat (Mewar)." Nearly one million was 
spent on this tower, round whose summit is a vainglorious de- 
scription of the glories of Khoombho. Alas for the vanity of 
man ! Khoombho himself was murdered by his son, and the 
Moslems have three times sacked Chitore, and even tried to 
obliterate the inscription of the Hindoo Rana ; and this, like 
the Kootub at Delhi, remains an empty boast, a priceless work 
of art surrounded by ruins. By the tower is a cool and refresh- 
ing spring gushing from the rock in three places, and beyond 
this, again, is a wall concealing a subterranean chamber, where 
lie the remains of all the women of Chitore who were immolated 
the day the sacred city was taken. 

The last time Chitore was sacked was in the time of Akbar, 
when the degenerate Rana, Oody Sing, forsook the capital 
of his fathers. Then the tutelary deity of the Ranas left the 
sacred city never to return. A cruel deity was Mata, the god- 
dess of Mewar, as evil a bogey as was ever conjured up by the 
human imagination, ever more easily influenced by fear than 
love. From that time no rana has entered the sacred precincts, 
and whenever they have sought to do so, an invisible arm has 
barred the passage. Yet is Chitore the revered home of Rajpoot 
tradition, and if a Rajpoot wishes to swear by an oath that must 
be inviolable, he swears by the sacking of Chitore. 

Before bidding adieu to my constant companion, Colonel Tod, 



CHI TO RE, AGRA, MUTTRA, AND ULWAR. 177 



let me give the grim story of the siege of Chitore, by Ala- 
oodeen, abridged from his pages. 

When Lakumsi was Rana of Oodeypore, being but twelve years 
old, his uncle Bheemsi acted as Regent. Bheemsi had to wife 
Patmani, a daughter of a chief of Ceylon. She was so beautiful 
that Ala-oodeen, the Pathan Emperor of Delhi, demanded her 
for himself, and on refusal marched to Mewar and stormed the 
town of Chitore. The gallants of Mewar rushed to oppose him 
and after a terrific struggle he was repulsed, but at the cost of 
three thousand lives of Sesodians. Badul, the nephew of Patmani, 
a boy of twelve, returns wounded and weary to the palace. 

"And what did Bheemsi ?" asks Patmani. 

" He was the reaper of the harvest of battle," replies the young 
chief, who had himself done wonders. " I followed his steps as 
the humble gleaner of his sword. On the gory bed of honour he 
spread a carpet of the slain. A barbarian prince his pillow, he 
laid him down and sleeps, surrounded by the foe ! " 

Again the lovely Queen asks, " Tell me, Badul, how did my 
love bear himself? " 

" O my mother," replied the youth ; how further describe his 
deeds, when he left no foe to dread or admire him 1 " 

"Farewell, then!" cried the wife with a smile; "salaa^/i, Badul ! 
My lord will chide my delay ! " and she sprang into the funeral 
pile lighted for the slain. 

Thirteen years afterwards the Pathan Ala-oodeen returned to 
Chitore. Then Mata, the goddess of the race and city, appeared 
to the Rana, fatigued with battle, and cried aloud, " I am hungry." 

"What! after eight thousand of my race have lately been 
offered thee.?" 

" I must have kings ! " said the terrible deity. " Unless twelve 
who have worn the royal diadem bleed for Chitore, the land will 
pass from thy line." 

So the Rana called a council, and each day a fresh son was 
crowned, and devoted his life for his country. Only his favourite 
son remained, when the Rana cried, " Now I, the twelfth, devote 
my life for Chitore ! " and, sending his son away from the ill- 

12 



178 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



fated city to perpetuate his line, he rushed to his fate. In vain ! 
The Moslem conquered. Then the johiir is proclaimed, the 
funeral pile burned high in a vast subterranean cave, and the 
Queens lead the way; and when Ala-oodeen entered the city, 
he found nothing but smoking corpses to satisfy his lust. 

A hot walk I had of two hours and a half, and glad enough I 
was to get back and wash and breakfast. I then dispatched my 
luggage and made a sketch. A hot wind sprang up in the after- 
noon, to my no small discomfort, but at 4 p.m. I started in a 
palki, and was carried thirty miles ; and in this journey I doubt 
which suffered most, the carriers or the carried. I can only say 
I was profoundly miserable at 2.30, when I arrived at Bheelwarra; 
neither did a further eleven hours into Nusirabad improve my 
temper or ease the cramp in my legs. Anyhow, here I am in 
Ajmere, in the land of railways and hotels, and I start by the 
2.40 a.m. train for Agra. 

Mtittra. 

Agra was a great rest after the fatigues of my last journey. I 
had here to re-fill my exhausted colour-box and re-stretch can- 
vases for another campaign. I wanted also to see two tombs that 
I left unvisited during my last stay here. On Thursday morning 
I made my first expedition to the tomb of " It-mud-ud-Doulah," 
which lies in a pleasant garden on the farther side of the Jumna. 

There is never any unpleasant reminder of death in these Mos- 
lem tombs: all smacks of houris and certain Paradise. 

This one is of marble, beautifully inlaid, the work being of the 
best period, "Early Jehanghire." It is being repaired by Govern- 
ment, who I pray may be induced not to do too much. There 
are four rooms painted in the four centres, where the ruins of 
former decorations are splendid indeed. Were they equally 
beautiful when new } Perhaps not ; but if the hand of the Eng- 
lishman is put to them, they will be spoilt for ever, and we shall 
incur additional claim to the curses of posterity. 

Akbar's tomb at Secundra I next visited. This, too, is in a 
spacious garden, the beauty of which is being restored. Here, 
as at Futtehpore Sikri, the boldness of the pattern and originality 



CHirORE, AGRA, MUTTRA, AND ULIVAR. 



179 



of design strikes one very forcibly. Hindoo architecture has a 
wealth of detail almost distracting. This seems to have been 
continued by the early Moguls, who had a much greater idea of 
the fitness of things and grandeur of general design than the 
Hindoos ; I must, however, make an exception in favour of the 
Tower of Chitore. Later work is much tamer ; the celebrated 
Taj Mahal contains but few patterns of originality of detail, while 
you may find hundreds here at Secundra and Futtehpore. The 
later men seem to have felt this want of invention, and strove to 
make up by costliness of material for absence of imagination. 
Modern Moslem work is utterly without originality, a mere dry 
echo of what once was. 

I am writing this at Muttra, a city sacred beyond all cities, for 
it is declared that one day in Muttra is worth a year in Benares. 
Here Krishna was born, and here the wrath of the pious A.urung- 
zebe descended, destroying temple, shrine, and idol. Yet have 
temple and shrine risen again, displaying the same exuberance 
of design as before ; only the modern sculpture is not up to the 
old. It seems as though the first designers of the gods had been 
obliged to study from nature ; consequently there is a sign of 
humanity and beauty in their work. Those who followed were 
content to take nature and divinity second-hand, and have neces- 
sarily gone on getting more and more conventional. 

The same beauties and the same faults are to be seen at Bindra- 
bun, a very holy place near Muttra, in temples built three hundred 
years ago and those now building, which are very numerous. The 
vitality of the Hindoo religion is most surprising, and vast indeed 
the amount of money lavished on the temples of that religion. 
The money-makers of India are mostly Hindoos, and perchance 
they wish to make their sahet when old, by spending the money 
they have saved on their gods. One of the institutions of Muttra 
is Seth Govend Das. He has innumerable carriages and horses, 
which he is always ready to lend (one of them brought me here) ; 
he does everything in Muttra ; yet he has retired to Bindrabun, 
and lives the life of a fakir in a temple he has built after the 
Madras style. A sly-looking man is the Seth, with a suspicious 

12 — 2 



i8o 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



cast in his eye ; he is grey-bearded now and pious, yet in the 
Mutiny he was "suspect," and was made to build the magistrate's 
house in which I am now writing, to save his neck ; so goes the tale. 
Meanwhile, his temple at Bindrabun is said to have cost 40 lacs 
(;^400,ooo) ! It covers an enormous space of ground, and through 
the door of its holy of holies, itself a vast pile, I saw a tall column 
covered with thick plaques of gold. What a wicked man the Seth 
must have been once to require so much religious whitewashing ! 

I came over here for two days, hoping then to get on to Ulwar ; 
but I found a letter to say that the Maharajah had left for a 
week, to pray ; so I must needs stay here a whole week doing 
nothing to forward my magnum opus. 

Muttra itself is a snare and a delusion, curious enough to de- 
serve an afternoon visit, but after what I have seen, stale, flat, 
and unprofitable. It is very flat, lying on the Jumna, and from 
no place can you get a good sketch save from the ghats, which 
are small, and beset by crowds of greasy Brahmins and dirty 
pilgrims. Perhaps the rest will do me good. Meanwhile, the 
hospitality of the English community is unbounded, and were I 
not in a place where such an act is considered an impiety, I 
should say that the fatted calf is daily slaughtered for me. This 
state of things is perhaps a foretaste of Simla, and my journal 
will suffer therefrom, for it is not my intention to record the stale 
amenities of civilized life. 

As there is but little to be seen in Muttra, I have devoted some 
of my time to sports. Yesterday we had the native wrestlers of 
the town to this house. Wrestling must be thought a noble pas- 
time here, since all the professors of the art were Brahmins. 
Some — the great masters — were very fat, their corpulence oozing 
over their tight loin-cloths. The wrestling itself was somewhat 
like the French, the object being to put a man clean on his back. 
The wrestlers begin by trying for the catch, and then they get 
locked, and over they go rolling on the ground, twisted in and 
in — writhing masses of brown flesh, out of which emerges from 
time to time a foot or a hand, coming from the most improbable 
places. The exhibition was curious, but somewhat monotonous. 



CHITORE, AGRA, MUTTRA, AND ULWAR. l8l 



I don't think the men were really trying, but making show. 
Their muscles were well developed, and the young men were 
fine-looking fellows, who would have made their fortune as 
models in London. They seem to be made of a different mate- 
rial from us, as, though they were undoubtedly strong and active, 
their flesh was quite soft and pulpy, like a woman's. The taste 
for the sport seems to be very general. We had a great crowd 
looking on, who followed the movements of the wrestlers with 
much interest. 

This morning we went out to see a buffalo fight on the race- 
course. The great stupid brutes were brought out, each with his 
attendant cows. When they saw each other they trotted together, 
locked horns, and pushed and struggled for some time, when all 
of a sudden one would give way, and run as hard as he could, 
pressed by the victor. Somehow fear is a greater incentive than 
rage, for the pursuer never caught the vanquished. One old bull 
was evidently the champion. On three occasions they brought 
him opponents, who no sooner saw him trotting towards them 
than they bolted, and a most exciting chase through the crowd 
invariably ensued. It was dull work, however, and as the sun 
was very hot, I was glad to get home to breakfast. 

This afternoon I go to Ulwar, and hope from there to write 
something more amusing than I have found for this week's budget. 
I have tried to find some legends of the place, some deeds of 
Krishna, who was born and brought up here, to record ; but I 
fear it would interest no one to know how the godlike child 
allowed himself to be swallowed by a demon in the shape of a 
snake, and then swelling himself prodigiously, burst his living 
prison and came forth smiling. And the loves of Krishna ! Oh, 
fie ! Surely the chronique scandaleuse of no country could furnish 
such a list 1 But these are the favourite and most sacred legends 
of the people ; and the god is always represented either playing 
his flute, standing cross-legged, to the amorous Radha, or dancing 
with the wives of the Gopis. It is curious that the sacred legends 
of a clever people should be so improper ; and apparently without 
any poetical interpretation, Hke the Greek legends. Amongst 



l82 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



the Rajpoots, whose stones I have plentifully stolen from Tod, 
you find chivalry and poetry, but Rajpoots are both soldiers and 
opium-eaters. At Muttra (or Mathera), sacred to Krishna, the 
people are fat Brahmins, and their legends prodigious rubbish, 
without poetry or charm ; but then this country is flat and 
monotonous, and the other full of mountains. 

I left Muttra on Thursday, 29th March, and drove to Bhurt- 
pore, twenty four miles over the usual flat. One gets used to the 
sights of an Indian high-road somehow. Habit is everything, 
and even those who have to put up with the heat here get used 
to it, or succumb at last, they hardly know why. Yet as the heat 
is surprising, so are the sights that meet you at each town. The 
little children of both sexes, whose dress consists of only a thin 
thread or a bead (literally), with their stomachs distended in the 
most frightful manner with rice or chapatti, or some such nasti- 
ness; the men almost as naked, but presenting torsos of the 
most classical form, with the legs of scarecrows or monkeys; the 
women coming up from well or tank with two enormous chattis 
or earthenware pots balanced on the head, their movement and 
draperies worthy of Phidias ; — these are seen at every village. 
Then, having cleared the village or town, you pass through a 
belt of cultivation, amid the creaking of the busy water-wheels, 
worked by oxen, with circular machinery invented in the year one, 
or more often having a rope drawn over a drum, by bullocks walk- 
ing down an incline. Then on again into the arid plain, where, the 
sun being hot, you doze ofl", till awakened by the shouts of syce 
and coachman, "^Aie gharry wallah or *^ Barega hatte wallah V 
and bullock-cart or elephant are shoved on one side to allow the 
sahib to pass. No wonder in this country bullocks and cows are 
worshipped, for by them everything is worked, and worshipping 
them does not prevent their being ill used. It is a curious sight 
to see the bullock-waggons and ekhas, or carriages, getting out 
of the way. The driver, who has the beasts with a rope by the 
nose, seizes their tails, and screws them the way they are to turn 
and bang go the bullocks into the ditch or against a tree, — no 
matter, so long as they are out of the way of the sahib. 



CHITORE, AGRA, MUTTRA, AND ULWAR. 183 



Thus I passed the twenty-four miles to Bhurtpore, where I 
took rail, and arrived at 6.30 a.m. at Ulwar. 

The obliging political agent, Major Cadell, received me with 
unbounded hospitality, and, owing to his kindness, I have seen 
all that is worth seeing here. 

Ulwar is a modern state ; it was formed by a certain Pertap 
Sing, the head of the Naruka clan of Jeypore Rajpoots^ on the 
general break-up of the Mogul power, and was declared indepen- 
dent in 1776. Pertap Sing, having no son, adopted a child of 
the Thakoor of Thanna, and the way he fixed on the fortunate 
youth was characteristic. He summoned to his Court the infant 
sons of all his nobles, and assembled them in a large room, which 
he had previously strewn with all kinds of toys and sweetmeats ; 
and the children were told to take what pleased them. Bakhta- 
wat Sing chose a sword and shield, and running to the Rana, sat 
down by his side, and he was forthwith hailed heir to the Raj. 

The right of adoption brings about strange changes in the lot 
of natives. Sindia (the great Sindia !) ran about the palace as a 
youth, happy with twelve rupees a month. Sujjan Sing, Rana 
of Oodeypore, albeit the nephew of the late Rana, little thought 
he would be called to the giiddee, over the head of his father. 
The father and predecessor of Jeswant Sing was a vakeel, and 
stood with hands crossed before the sahib, until he was adopted 
by the Rajah of Ahmednugger, from which place he was called to 
Jodhpore. Holkar, who puts on more " side " than any rajah I 
have yet seen, was an adopted son ; so are the Rajah of Mysore 
and the Guicowar of Baroda. This little Rajah was chosen two 
years ago from the same Thanna family as Bukhtawat Sing, 
quite unexpectedly, on the decease of the late Rajah at the early 
age of twenty-six, through strong drink and excess. The father 
of the Rajah was alive when he succeeded, and his elder brother 
has a patrimony of ;^ 1,000 a year, while the lucky No. 2 is a 
Maharajah, and comes into ;^ 240,000 a year next November ! 

The state of Ulwar, having been administered by Major Cadell 
for seven years, is quite a model state. Money has been spent 
with wise profusion on profitable works, roads, bunds, wells, and 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



Such things ; the stud of horses, elephants, and bullocks is really 
worth seeing ; and the city is clean, well kept, and well to do. 
And all this will be handed over next November to this young 
gentleman of eighteen, with free power to spend and squander. 
When the last Rajah succeeded, in 1863, cousin Impey (now 
at Oodeypore), who had been managing for him in the same way, 
handed over a treasury in which there were 20^ lacs (;^205,ooo). 
In 1870 the Rajah was deprived of his property for mismanage- 
ment : he had spent his income, and the 20^ lacs, and was 18 
lacs in debt. Pretty well for seven years ! 

The city of Ulwar is prettily nestled into a nook of the hills. 
Below lies a green and fruitful plain, plentifully irrigated by the 
waters of a lake formed up in the mountains at Silleser, ten 
miles away, and which is the work of Bunnee Sing, who reigned 
from 1 81 5 to 1857. Even now there is a saying expressive of 
great happiness : ''As in the day of Bunnee Sing." 

Between the mountains and the city lies the palace, and be- 
tween it and the mountains, again, is a tank. I have seen 
larger and more splendid buildings, but this little nook, with 
palace, temple, and tank, and the bare hill behind, is as charac- 
teristic a bit of India as I could imagine. There is no bastard 
classic or ridiculous Gothic here ; all is true Indian ; and although, 
of course, full of absurd inconsistencies — the squalid jostling the 
splendid, as is usual in the East — the whole is somehow pic- 
turesque and original. Yet was all this done within the last 
thirty years ! 

Mangol Sing, the present Rajah, is a young man of seventeen. 
Although only called to his throne two years ago, he plays the 
Rajah to the life. He seems to have dropped into it without any 
trouble. He talks English very well, yet nothing will make him 
learn to read or write ; while the two hours a day he spends in 
study utterly exhaust him. Sitting he thinks a nuisance. But he 
is a good-natured, good-looking little chap, and delights in riding, 
driving, and shooting, playing at racquets and such amusements. 
The other day he was married. He doesn't think much of the 
society of ladies, however ; for, to my certain knowledge, he was 



CHI TORE, AGRA, MUTTRA, AND ULWAR, 1 85 




HIS HIGHNESS MANGOL SING, RAJAH OF ULWAR. 



two days without even seeing his wife. I hear, when he goes 
down to the palace in the city, his adopted mother and grand- 
mother make him pooja or pray, and he doesn't Hke it. 

Life in a Zenana must be dull indeed. Each wife has her 
settlement, and manages the villages forming that settlement 
through a vakeel, and very good managers some of them are. 
Beyond this they have no connection with the out-door world, 
never even leaving the walls of the Zenana, except on rare occa- 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



sions when they are allowed to perform a pilgrimage. The Ze- 
nana itself is ruled by the principal wife, or more generally by 
the mother. This lady is supreme ; and I am told by ladies who 
have penetrated into the Zenanas of the great, that when the 
rajah comes into the room all the wives rise and veil themselves, 
the head ranee alone remaining seated and uncovered. The 
other wives, however, in some courts are allowed to receive visits 
(from ladies, of course) in their own rooms, which open generally 
out of a courtyard common to all. I hear the principal amuse- 
ment of the ladies is gambling, both at cards and backgammon ; 
and this is the cause of their eagerness for money, which one 
would think they could not possibly want, or find occasion to 
spend. The allowance given to a wife here and also at Oodey- 
pore is j^2,ooo a year, and quite enough, too, I should say. 

Yesterday, the 4th March, we were promised an elephant fight. 
Major Cadell had never seen one, and indeed had always dis- 
couraged them, but I persuaded him there was no danger, so he 
gave way. The grand space of the Hatti Khanah was to be the 
scene of the entertainment, and there ought to have been a wall 
for the beasts to fight over ; but the Rajah either forgot to order 
this wall to be prepared, or thought there would be greater fun 
without. When we arrived one of the elephants was already in 
the square, and the Rajah's people were teazing him with scarves, 
like the torreadors in Spain. He wanted but little teazing, being 
very " must," and the hatiiadorSy' if I might coin a word, would 
have stood but a poor chance had not the huge beast had vast 
chains round his hind legs, which dragged well behind. As it was, 
he swung round his trunk with fury when any of his enemies 
approached him, and it required all their nimbleness to escape 
his charge. 

Presently the other elephant was seen approaching. This one 
was only " must " enough to be dangerous to any one foolish 
enough to go near him. He was larger than his adversary, but 
not so furious. No. i is "weaving" his trunk, having had a cloth 
lowered over his eyes by his mahout. No. 2 is now in the middle 
of the square. Up goes the cloth, and No. i furiously charges. 



CHITORE, AGRA, MUTTRA, AND ULWAR. 18/ 

Though No. 2 is the larger, he is borne backward, and there was 
real danger to the mahouts, &c. Major Cadell immediately gave 
the order : a Catherine-wheel was fired and thrown between the 
combatants; and both elephants, lately so furious, turned tail 
and skedaddled, each to his own corner. It was a curious sight. 

I wonder how this Rajah will succeed when he comes into his 
own He is obedient enough now, but I see, or imagine I see, 
some impatience for the time to arrive v/hen he will be indepen- 
dent.* The last Rajah, Sheodan Sing, was a very bad lot. He 
was a very small man. There was very little of him, but all that 
was, was vicious. Here is a little story of Rajpoot manners. 

Ulwar, the state, was carved partly from Bhurtpore, partly from 
Jeypore. The Rajahs of Ulwar and Jeypore had never met till 
my cousin Impey brought about an exchange of civilities between 
them. Now, it appears that Ram Sing of Jeypore had a beauti- 
ful nautch girl, whom he delighted to honour, devout though he 
is. Her name was Ganga. Sheodan Sing hearing of her beauty, 
offered her vast sums of rupees to leave Jeypore and come to 
Ulwar. The frail one yielded. All was arranged, and a dak of 
quick-trotting bullocks conveyed Ganga in an incredibly short 
space of time from Jeypore to Ulwar and its amorous Rajah. 
Perhaps Sheodan Sing would soon have tired of his expensive 
conquest, but the Duke of Edinburgh arrived not long after, and 
the Rajah was obliged to go to receive him. He was determined 
that Ganga should not return to Jeypore in his absence; so he 
married her in a kind of left-handed fashion — that is, she had gold 
bangles fastened on her feet and was taken into the Zenana. The 
idea of being a Ranee was too much for the poor nautch girl ; her 
head was turned, and she consented. Once in the Zenana, and 
there was no escape. Now, nautch girls are brought up with sin- 
gular ideas of freedom ; alone of all Indian women, they wear 
no veils ; and they are treated with respect wherever they go. 
I have written how, even at Oodeypore, they form a part of the 

* I am happy to see that he is doing well. By the last mail came the 
news that the Maharajah of Ulwar has offered to fit out a camel corps at his 
own expense to help the Government in the Afghan campaign. Well done, 
Mangol Sing ! 



i88 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



pageant of the state. Imagine, then, poor Ganga imprisoned in 
the Zenana, frowned down by rival queens, who, being pucka 
wives of noble families, looked on the nautch girl as the dirt of 
the earth. And Sheodan Sing ? The miserable little man's sole 
idea was revenge on Jeypore. He swaggered past Ram Sing in 
durbar, saying, " I have cut off the whiskers of the Jeypore 
Rajah ; " but he never thought of the poor nautch girl, and never 
saw her again. The political agent here told me he had many 
touching epistles and messages from the prisoner, begging him 
to liberate her, brought by her old mother, who threw herself on 
her knees, imploring him to save her child. But what could he 
do t The Zenana was sacred. At last she escaped by the only 
road of escape from the tyranny of custom — she starved herself 
to death I This is a true story, told me by the political agent to 
whom the mother applied. 

Another story of Ulwar deserves here to be recorded. Two 
rajahs ago the ruling chief married, or was said to have married, 
a nautch girl. Rajahs of Ulwar seem ever to have had a passion 
for the stage ! This lady had a son presumably by the Rajah. 
Now, at the Rajah's death, as the wife was a Mohammedan, this 
marriage was declared illegal, and the child illegitimate. But 
the mother maintained she was legally married, and, to prove 
the legitimacy of her child, actually performed suttee with the 
Rajah ! Yet she was a Mohammedan, not believing, of course, 
that Paradise was to be attained by self-cremation ! I don't know 
that history or romance contains a story of more touching maternal 
sacrifice. The English Government insisted on the acknowledg- 
ment of the son's legitimacy, and the division of the state of 
Ulwar, which has only lately become united by the want of heirs of 
the son, for whose royal line such an awful price had been paid ! 

This is my last Rajpoot state. To-morrow I shall be well on 
my way to Jummo and the Sikhs. I only trust they will behave 
as well as the Rajpootana rajahs have done on the whole. Some 
of them have been quite friendly. From Muttra I sent Oodey- 
pore a long letter on Indian art, which I trust may do him good. 



CHAPTER xrr. 



LAHORE. 

^th to 1 2th April. 

I LEFT Ulwar, with great regret, on Thursday, 5th April, and 
arrived at Delhi at 3 a.m. on the 6th. I had determined to 
pass the hours of the early morning, usually spent in bed, in 
quietly snoozing in my railway carriage. But I reckoned without 
my host. The carriage was shunted and re-shunted, and each time 
I was banged about as though the engine-driver took a delight 
in preventing a sleep which he by his duties was debarred from 
enjoying; so at 4.30 I rose and went to the Northbrook Hotel, 
which I had left full of guests of the durbar. Now all was deso- 
late, and when I went to breakfast at the table I had seen 
thronged with notables, I was alone. 

I had various businesses to attend to during the day, but at 
4.50 p.m. started again for Lahore, where I arrived at 4.35 a.m. 
on Saturday, 7th April. Here I am now, the guest of the Go- 
vernment Advocate, and very comfortable. 

There is a mighty difference between an English station, the 
centre of an administration like Lahore, and the house of the 
political agent at a native court. There are no picturesque horse- 
men waiting in the yard or compound," no prisoners clanking 
about the garden, preparing your vegetables and watering your 
flowers, no suitors with eager look awaiting the pleasure of the 
agent sahib, no visits from friendly nobles or thakoors. All is 
respectable, humdrum, unpicturesque, and comfortable. And, 
above all, there is but little to write about, unless it be personal 
criticisms and remarks, that might wound the feelings of hospit- 
able Englishmen and kind friends. I came here to have my 

189 



190 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



future movements settled for me. I wish myself to do Kashmir 
at once, and then retire to the cool of Simla ; but I find that 
the Nawab of Bhawalpore is expected, and that he will probably 
not be allowed to go to Simla, so that I must do his Nawabship 
here. 

It is much cooler here than it was at Ulwar or Jodhpore a 
month ago ; not that Lahore is a cool place, for I believe it may 
give points to a place nameless in polite circles but well known 
for its high temperature ; only the heat does not begin so soon as 
in places more south. We have had moreover two thunderstorms ; 
one on the 6th I caught between Delhi and here ; and there was 
another on the lOth, which was quite dramatic in its fury, great 
wind and heavy rain accompanying the incessant thunder and 
lightning. People here wonder what has come to the weather, 
as storms at this time of year are almost unknown. I can only 
be thankful that it keeps cool a little longer than usual. 

Lahore city lies about a mile from the English station at 
Anarkali. This journal is not intended as a guide book (there is 
an excellent one of Lahore), so I will not give you all the places 
worth seeing in the capital of Punjab, but only the things that 
strike me personally. It is to be noted, in the first place, that 
the English town derives its name from a slave girl of the Em- 
peror Akbar — Sharif-ul-Nissar — who had the title or name of 
Anarkali (meaning " pomegranate blossom ") given her ; but be- 
cause she was supposed to have smiled on Jehanghire, Akbar's 
son, she was here buried alive. There was evidently some cause 
for Akbar's jealousy, since Jehanghire, when he came to his own, 
erected a tomb to the poor victim, on which he says — 

" Ah, could I behold the face of my beloved once more, 
I would give thanks to my God till the day of resurrection !" 

The tomb is now the English church, and the white man prays 
where Jehanghire shed tears and recorded his not very creditable 
passion. 

Akbar seems generally to have been rather hard upon the 
loves of his son Jehanghire, who, before he ascended the throne, 



LAHORE. 



191 



was known by the name of Selim. The unfortunate youth formed 
a violent attachment for a certain Mher-ul-Nissah, the daughter 
of a Tatar chief of the name of Mirza-Ghayas-Beg, who was 
steward of the household of the Emperor Akbar. The lady was 
already affianced to an officer named Sher Afghan, and Akbar 
would not have the engagement broken off to please his son. 
And most unlucky was Sher Afghan. Jehanghire not only re- 
membered the slave girl, but the wife. He built a tomb for one 
and he killed the husband of the other ! The lady, however, 
was taken into the royal Zenana, and became the favourite wife, 
being first called Niir Mahal (Light of the Palace), and then 
Nur Jehan (Light of the World). Under the latter title she is 
best known. She exercised great influence over her husband, 
who promoted both her father and brother to high places at 
Court. Her father was It-mud-ud-Doulah, whose tomb I have 
described at Agra ; her brother, Alif Jah, was well known in 
history. Nur Jehan we shall meet again, I dare say. 

The fort of Lahore has some decorations in large mosaic on its 
outer face, built by Jehanghire, that are very good in their general 
effect. Several panels of elephants, their fightings and general 
goings-on (and off), are very good indeed in colour — the elephants 
being bright blue, and the ground brimstone, or white, or green. 
This coarse mosaic is very common in this part of the country, 
where stone exists not. A mosque (Wazir Khan's Musjid) is richly 
decorated in this way, and so are many towers in the neighbour- 
hood. Nevertheless, Lahore, as a town, has not many attractions ; 
for, although tracing the date of its foundation to the mythical 
ages of Rama and his son L'oh, there are not many traces of 
age in the present city. From the top of the minaret of the 
Wazir Khan's Musjid you get a good view of the town, which 
looks like an enlarged village, of which the houses have the same 
monotonous look we know so well in London, only that they are 
mud colour, and not smoke-begrimed. The absence of stone 
probably caused the gradual destruction of what was old. 

Lahore boasts a school of art and a museum. The first is I 
am told, and I can readily believe it, in a state of infancy. Let 



192 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



us hope it may develop into something if allowed to continue. 
The museum contains many interesting objects ; among them a 
quantity of fragments of sculpture dug up near Peshawur, that 
are remarkably curious, as displaying more plastic power than 
any sculpture I have yet seen, and even, it is supposed, a Greek 
influence. These remains are Buddhistic, as are all the finest 
remains in India. Of course I talk of sculpture. 

The printed cottons are here remarkably good. Some of the 
finest patterns are printed in tak and all kinds of dyes, not pucka. 
They are used for marriage ceremonies, and not being pucka 
implies they will not wash. 

There are too many things brought here by the Central Asian 
Trading Company, which has its depot at Lahore. The best of 
these are silks printed in the strangest colours, with the wildest 
harmonies and discords, which I confess tickle my artistic sense 
exceedingly. 

The whole talk of Lahore is of the frontier and its policy. I 
don't know much about it, I confess ; and as this journal is not 
intended to be political, will not treat you to any of the gossip 
and stories told of the soldier who is conducting the negotia- 
tions at Peshawur. He must be either a very great man or a 
very weak one. I, for one, will give him the benefit of the doubt; 
at all events, he is a well abused one. 

I have come back from my first sitting of the Nawab of Bha- 
walpore. As his title implies, he is a Mohammedan. His family 
were originally tributary to the Afghans, and though they set 
up for themselves some three generations back, with difficulty 
succeeded in keeping their independence. They also had to 
knock under to Runjeet Sing. Luckily for them, during the 
Sikh troubles, their hatred to that nation proved greater than 
their dislike of the English ; so that they helped us, and were 
rewarded by increased estate; though, of course, they had to 
acknowledge the paramount Power. 

The present Nawab is a young fellow of sixteen, good looking, 
though of somewhat weak cast of feature. He was to have met 
me at Simla, and there sat ; but, on arriving here, I found that 



LAHORE, 



193 



there is some doubt about his being allowed to go to the English 
Capua. There is a great feeling against permitting native chiefs 
to congregate at our sanitarium, as they bring up a quantity of 
followers, who have to be huddled together in close quarters, 
and are apt to bring cholera and all kinds of sickness with them. 
However, the Nawab, and especially his white following, are 
very eager to get there, and make my painting an excuse for 
their journey. It is natural enough they should wish to escape 
from the heat of Bhawalpore, one of the hottest places of this 
oven, to the cool breezes of Simla ; and, although I shall make 
a study of his head, in case leave be refused, I shall say that 
I cannot possibly finish here what I want, for the dress and 
get-up of his Nawabship is fearfully elaborate. 

The Maharajah of Kashmir desires to be painted at Sreenuggur, 
and telegraphs to that effect. This will necessitate a fortnight's 
more travelling ; but, on the other hand, will enable me to see 
the far-famed Valley of Kashmir. Well, I must grin and bear 
it, and hope that the good will counterbalance the delay. 

At Ulwar I had a curious insight into the superstition of the 
country. The political agent wished to build for the young 
Rajah a new grand staircase to his Dewan-i-Am. My friends in 
England will hardly consider me competent to act as architect 
even to an Indian rajah ; and I am modest enough to think, and 
indeed to be certain, that I know little about the noble art ; yet 
I know more than my worthy friend the political agent, and I 
gave him what I thought rather a good scheme, which he sub- 
mitted to the intelligent Hindoo engineer who looks after that 
department in the state. A model in wood of my plan was made, 
but the number of steps had to be altered to suit the prejudices 
of the country. I had noticed before that Hindoo stairs were 
prodigiously steep, and I now found the reason. It appears that 
going up and down you must count thus, as the foot comes down 
on each step : — "Indra" (heaven), first step; "J^i^" (hell), second; 
" Raj " (earth), third : and as you must begin always with "heaven," 
so must your foot, both going up and coming down, come on 
" Jan " (hell) on the last step. Unless this is so, no pious Hindoo 

13 



194 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



will ascend or descend, as it would be eminently unlucky to 
do so. 

Another odd superstition is this : — at Muttra and at Ulwar 
the authorities were building new bazaars, and proposed planting 
the square with pepul-trees. At both places the banyas or mer- 
chants protested; "for if you plant such trees, we shall not be 
able to deal there." 

"Why?" 

Because the pepul {ficus religiosa) is sacred, and under it we 
must tell only the truth ! " 

If this feeling existed in England, how the moral tone of the 
City might be improved by a few pepul-trees ! 

The following is a true story of Ulwar. It appears that there 
is a law there that no man is allowed to marry a girl who is only a 
third of his age. The reason of this law is that old men constantly 
married girls of ten or eleven, and left them widows, and they 
had to pass the rest of their lives in forced celibacy, looked down 
on by their relatives. In the old time sitttee put an end to their 
troubles ; now the laws are changed, and life-long misery takes 
the place of a glorious death. What wonder, then, if young 
widows frequently change their ignominious fate for a career of 
vice } This law can only be evaded by order of the Council of 
State. Well, there was a wealthy contractor, who had made his 
fortune in the British territory, but he was childless. Always 
hoping to have a son to light his funeral pile, he came to Ulwar, 
and quickly found a parent who was willing to sell his child of 
ten ; but the bridegroom was more than three times the age of 
the bride, — indeed he was sixty, — and permission was refused. 
The case came before the political agent while I was at Ulwar. 
He refused to interfere. 

Let the law, which is a good law, be enforced. If this man 
likes to marry, let him marry a woman of suitable age." 

" But," urged the worthy baboos who appeared for the eager 
bridegroom, " there are none of suitable age. It is a disgrace to 
have an unmarried daughter, and so all our daughters are married 
at ten." 



LAHORE, 



195 



" There are widows." 
Yes, but to marry a widow is a sin. What is a poor man to 
do ? " 

''You ought to let widows marry," cried the sensible agent. 
"Religious prejudice, sahibl' urged the baboo with clasped 
hands. 

The man was in earnest, and the next day there appeared an 
English advocate from Agra to plead his cause. He had no 
loms standi, and was told so ; but he urged that the bride's father 
should at least be allowed to leave the country, and take up his 
residence in British territory, where you can marry your child to 
Methuselah, if he is rich enough. 

" What prevents him } " 

" He is not allowed to leave," said the advocate. 

The agent said, " I will see to it, only if he comes back to 
Ulwar, he must abide by the laws of Ulwar." 

It was quickly found why papa-in-law could not leave the 
country ; he was in prison for breach of promise, having already 
sold his daughter to and received the money from another man, 
to whom, however, he refused his child on the appearance of a 
richer suitor ! 

The question of marriages is perhaps the most serious of all 
the knotty questions we English have to deal with here. The 
above case is one of many curious cases constantly cropping up 
and bewildering the courts and judges. From an educational 
point of view, it is most fatal to allow marriages with girls of ten 
or even eight years of age, as is common here. In each family 
there may be seen one or two poor women, who are looked on as 
lepers, and are, to native ideas, a disgrace and a shame. And 
why } Because they are widows. No doubt every aspect of this 
question has been canvassed and talked over hundreds of times. 
Nothing can be done in a hurry; and after all, the prejudice 
against marrying your deceased wife's sister, which is so strong 
in England, is quite as stupid, or perhaps more narrow-minded 
than the prejudices of the poor Hindoo against widow marriage. 
Out here one sees the harm all such prejudices work to the good 

13—2 



196 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



of the community at large, so is the mind enlarged by travel, 
and the traveller encouraged to make priggish and sententious 
observations ! 

I was much amused at finding in the handbook of this place 
(from which I have freely borrowed) a translation of a Punjabee 
song in the vernacular, which was very popular some ten years ago. 
It is a complaint against the laws and regulations of the English, 
which I can well imagine the Indian fails to appreciate or indeed 
to understand. The following is one verse as a specimen : 

" In the Raj of the Rajahs there were holes, there were hills ; 
In the Raj of the English level highways appear. 
We die, oh ! we die, and the worst of our ills 

Is the hard law, Punjabees ! the English bring here." 

ijth April. 

For the first time in India I find I have but little to write 
about. I hope I am not getting blase to the sights around me. 
I don't think so, for each figure I see in the streets would be a 
reproach to me. One seems to live among statues here ; each 
man or woman with his or her drapery around him (or her) is a 
sight for the Greeks ; and yet I have drawn none of them, and 
am continually gnawing the file of repentance on the subject. 
My picture, however, sits like an Old Man of the Sea on me, and 
takes all the energy for other work out of me. I can only see, 
mark, learn, and inwardly digest, with the hope that my gazing 
may have some effect by-and-bye. 

The Punjabees wear much more flowing robes than the Raj- 
poots. The men dress all in white, wear enormous pugrees^ 
and very loose and curious trousers, nearly to the ankle. The 
women wear the same trousers, only coloured, and the saree 
over the head. I have not yet penetrated the mystery of the 
trouser. I rather fancy it is made of one piece of voluminous 
stuff, ingeniously twisted so as to form a nether garment. As 
the twisting begins from the outside, and the folds lap round 
inside the leg, the whole population appear bandy. 



LAHORE. 



197 



We have had most unusual weather. There has been a thunder 
storm every day for a week, and quantities of rain. This has, of 
course, cooled the air, but already the heat has re-begun, and 
general limpness asserts itself. There is a bird here called the 
koel, which has the reputation of being a sort of St. John to the 
summer, appearing always as hot weather sets in. This wretched 
bird has been singing most lustily for the last two days, the rain 
having kept him quiet before. A most unpleasant noise he makes, 
like a mason striking a flagstone with a metal hammer. This noise 
continuing for hours is apt to get on the nerves. 

Meanwhile I have been getting on with Bhawalpore, and have 
finished his head. His coat is not here, so I must defer painting 
it till I meet his Highness at Simla. Like most rajah's coats, it 
is fearfully elaborate, covered with kincaub pearls and jewellery. 
He has a ///^r^^ of enormous size, that was originally wound round 
a sort of wide-awake, and now displays two curious ears. Alto- 
gether he has a kind of theatrical look, and reminds one of 
Astley's. He is an odd lad, very impulsive, but without any 
strong affection ; not stupid, but with a stupid, loutish look, the 
result of his shyness. I have seen a good deal of him, and have 
come to the conclusion that his surroundings are oppressive, and 
that the life of a young rajah under tutors appointed by Govern- 
ment, who may be good fellows, but who are dull and not amusing, 
must be very very tedious. Of course people who apply for such 
places are not pucka civilians. There is a young sirdar, Nizam 
O-Deen, of Mum Dhote, of the same age, who is being educated 
with the Nawab. This young lad is one of the handsomest boys 
I ever saw. He and the Nawab are great friends, riding, playing 
lawn tennis and racquets, and, I hope, studying together. 

Since writing the above I have been again to Bhawalpore, for 
the last time, and I got him to show me a pair of his inexpres- 
sibles, which are about six yards across, and gathered up with a 
string round the waist. As the foot and ankle pass through a hole 
in the extreme corner of this bag, the drapery between the legs 
is very voluminous, and getting twisted round the ankle, gives 
the bandy look I mentioned before. 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



To-day I am expecting to leave this for Jhelum, en route for 
Kashmir. I have telegraphed for a dak gharry to take me thence 
to Rawal Pindee, and am now waiting an answer. 

My life here has been singularly placid. I rise at 7 a.m., or 
thereabout, have my chota hazree — a cup of tea and some toast — 
and read, write, and work till breakfast at ten ; after that meal I 
go to Bhawalpore, and work at him till tiffin^ which meal I gene- 
rally take with his Highness. I sometimes go on painting there 
till four; then home, and more work till 5.30, when, weather 
permitting, I go to lawn tennis, which lasts as long as we can 
see; then more letters till dinner — and so the days go on. This, 
putting office instead of work, is the life of a civilian out here. 
Quiet, monotonous, but not unprofitable. A very good set of 
fellows they are; wonderfully kind and affectionate to each other 
when in sickness or trouble, and ever ready, with advice and 
hospitality, to aid the traveller on his way. 

I had an instance of the extreme kindness of the English 
community to each other in the case of a poor fellow whom I 
knew very slightly. The devotion shown to him by his friends — 
for his wife and belongings were in England — was most touching. 
Alas ! the best of nursing was of no avail. The stroke of death 
is swift in India. You hear a man is "down" in the morning, and 
next morning he is " ' gone,' poor fellow ! " and you frequently 
follow him to his grave the same day. The English cemetery of 
Lahore is, like all such places in India, a sad memorial of hopes 
blighted and promises unfulfilled. Here rest none who have passed 
long and happy lives, and finally been gathered to their fathers 
in the fulness of time. Few of these simple graves have been 
placed by weeping children over silver heads that time alone 
has laid low. Here are records of widows' tears and husbands' 
despair, of strong men and loving women, taken in their prime, 
full of hope, full of love. More touching still are the multitudes 
of small mounds where so many blossoms lie, that under a 
cooler sun might have ripened to cheer a parent's home. Poor 
little children ! one sees them living, pale, thin, and fretful. 
When the prime of life and strength are no security against the 



LAHORE. 



199 



insidious foe, what chance have these fraii ones ? Happily the 
hills are close, and communication with hill stations getting easier 
every day. Let us hope each year the dread Reaper will have a 
less heavy crop. Who knows whose turn may come next.? Strength 

is as nothing, for who so strong as was two days ago, yet 

now ! 

Thank Heaven my life is so busy that I have but little time to 
think of such things, or perchance mere anticipation of sickness 
might produce the dreaded evil. Yet such events grow so familiar 
that they are soon forgotten, except by the sorrowing few. The 
sober festivities of the station are only interrupted for a day, to, 
perhaps wisely, recommence on the morrow with steady vigour. 

But English life is not what I want to record here, and the 
excitement of a flower show or amateur concert does not inspire 
me to write. I am blase to such things, I own, and have a horror 
of recording the menu of the last dinner I have eaten, or giving 
a minute description of the company I have met, like a corre- 
spondent of "Vanity Fair." Therefore will this week's journal be 
a very short one; and if I miss the next post, do not be surprised, 
as I am journeying somewhat away from the regions of post ; 
and as travellers going east have to put on their watches, so 
shall I have to push on my post-day, till, like the said travellers 
when they get right round the world, I may find I have missed a 
post as they miss a day. 



1 



CHAPTER XIII. 



RAWAL PINDEE — MURREE. 



On the Banks of the Jhelum^ 22nd April. 



LTHOUGH I had been very comfortable at Lahore, and 



reposing in the lap of luxury and civilization, yet I confess 
to an ungrateful eagerness to depart on my further journey to 
Kashmir and the backbone of the world. It is not so easy, 
however, to get there at this time of the year. On the 1 5th April 
begins the leave season for the officers of the army, and the 
subalterns of India swarm to all places where sport is to be had ; 
and where are they promised such sport as in the Happy Valley? 
Moreover, by reputation these sports are those peculiarly dear to 
the British subaltern, though condemned, and rightly, by Mrs. 
Grundy. I found, then, on applying for conveyance from Jhelum 
(where the railway ends) to Rawal Pindee, that I could not get a 
gharry for two days ; and there was another delay in prospect 
between Rawal Pindee and Murree, my next station. It was only 
on the 20th that I started by the evening train, and safely reached 
Jhelum at 4 a.m. on the 21st. There I took dak gharry y and after 
much talking and delay, started at five. As I drove out of the dak 
bungalow, the east was just beginning to show signs of coming 
day. It was a limpid barley-sugary effect, but wonderfully striking, 
for I saw the sun rise behind the Himalaya (a long A, if you 
please) for the first time. There they were, the famous moun- 
tains — blue against the early dawn — sharp cut, as though all 
those jagged peaks were equally distant, while the foot hills 
(considerable mountains anywhere else) showed a darker blue, 
and the foreground was a sea of yellowing corn, with here and 




200 




The> Fii}ures deviate tlxf heifflit above the- Se^i in thoiisa/uls. thus 21 means 21,000 feet;and. 9-7 means 9J00 feet. 
The Figures in smaU type i-efer to Smnmits. those in larper type to Valleys; those in brackets (18-3) to Passes. 
The positions oFMoimtnin Summits and Passes are shtwn In- dots .'■ 

Scale 2,027, f>2T). ( 32 Miles to 1 bicb.) 
EngliBh StatviJe Mile s 



ao 30 40 fto 



RAVVAL PINDEE.—MURREE. 



201 



there a dark tree in the distance. It was a simple harmony of 
colour, one of those things that every artist has essayed ; but for 
delicacy of tone and wonderful limpidity, I never saw anything 
to match it. Meanwhile, the sunrise quickening, one or two thin 
streaks of cloud shine golden on the delicate yellow. The distant 
snow-peaks are gradually fused in the glowing sky, becoming an 
extraordinary tender yellow lilac ; and then, bright and hot, up 
leaps the sun ! Gradually, before the car of Suraj, the abode of the 
Gods disappears. He is not to be trifled with, this Sun-god of 
latter April, and the visible presence of him fills all his portion 
of the sky. But as he rises higher and gilds each peak by turns, 
one perceives the enormous space between the mountains them- 
selves. Range behind range show themselves touched by his 
golden ray, blushing into rosier tones as he passes, and when he 
has passed and risen much higher, the distant ranges reappear 
with their snowy peaks now shining in mid-sky, while the lower 
parts of them are lost in aerial blue. I had seen them during 
my journey from Delhi to Lahore, like a line of surprising clouds. 
I have seen, too, the Alps something in the same light; but the 
Alps are nothing to these, for are not these peaks part of the 
Kailas, and not one of them under 20,000 feet high 1 while those 
hills in front vary from 6,000 to 8,000 feet : — KailaSy abode of 
the gods, where the great Brahma passes his time in godlike 
contemplation ; and Siva, in active malignity ; and Vishnu, in 
abstraction, only to be roused occasionally to throw his spirit 
into some fresh incarnation for the good of mankind in general 
and Brahmins in particular : the Kailas, from which flow the 
holy rivers, symbols of divine grace, and whence, too, according 
to modern ideas, has flowed the religion of the whole world ; for 
is not the Teuton word for " heaven" derived from Himalaya, and 
is not Kaila the same as coeliim ? So say the philologists ; and, 
gazing at those lofty peaks glistening there a hundred and fifty 
miles off, as they have shone for ages past, unchangeable because 
not to be approached, like the high gods themselves, passionless 
and sublime, far be it from me to say that it is not so. 

Meanwhile the foreground of waving corn has been passed, 



202 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



and we go uphill. The surface of the earth is broken up into 
seams and deep ravines, — shadow and light flecked about in a 
most indescribable way, telling of mighty rains and much dis- 
turbance from those far-off masses of snow; but through this cut 
and scarred surface English civilization has made a straight level 
road ; and here, amidst all that is sublime in nature, I rattle 
along at the rate of eight miles an hour, including stoppages, 
and as I gaze full of artistic fervour at those distant hills, am 
constantly brought back to this world by the objurgations of 
the driver and syces and the yells of passers-by, who all join 
together to urge forward the jibbing horse. Every horse seems 
to jib, and innumerable are the dodgings employed to get them 
on : sometimes the syces run in front, with a thong through the 
bits, and lug them on; sometimes they are pushed on by passers- 
by ; and sometimes the trace of one is passed round the trace of 
the other, and the non-jibber pulls along his timid companion ; 
but always is there shouting and thrashing, and as Bishop Heber 
says, — 

" Every prospect pleases, 

And only man (and horse) is vile." 

And so I travel, with the wondrous mountains on my right 
hand, and the noise of wheels and natives around, till after eight 
hours I perceive hideous barracks before me, and arrive at my 
destination — Rawal Pindee. 

Rawal Pindee is a very strong military station ; not strong in 
fortifications, but from the number of soldiers here assembled. 
There is a general and a brigadier-general and an English cavalry 
regiment, the 4th Hussars (with whom I am stopping), and two 
English infantry regiments, three batteries of artillery (one horse), 
a native cavalry regiment, and two of native infantry. It is a 
pretty station, with mountains close by. Murree, the hill station, 
is but four hours off, on the foot hills, and I was shown how you 
could, with flashing-signals, telegraph with ease to the sanitarium 
of the garrison, forty miles away. 

Thunder and rain seem to be my portion at present. As at 
Lahore, so at Pindee, it thundered constantly. -However, seizing 



RAWAL PINDEE.—MURREE. 



203 



an auspicious moment on Monday, 23rd April, I left in a hill- 
cart for Murree. This cart is an extraordinary vehicle, on the 
principle of a dog-cart, but hung low so as to make it easy to 
jump in and out. One horse is harnessed into the shafts, and 
one to each side, and off they start at full gallop, at a fearful 
pace. We did on the flat a mile in four minutes, and the whole 
distance, thirty-eight miles, in four hours and a half; and recol- 
lect Murree is 7,435 feet high ! No bad going. 

Of the way up there is nothing much to tell. The foot hills 
are much like all hills, and the road itself might be Mont Cenis, 
or any other pass. We are caught in a thunderstorm, but that 
again has become so common an occurrence lately, that we take 
no notice of the lengthened boom of the thunder among the hills. 
We pass many a bullock-carriage filled with luggage, and many 
an English family, on the road to the hills and Kashmir. Sports- 
men have left some time ago; for first come first served, and once 
occupy a mdlah, and no one can shoot there without permission ; 
but families go to Kashmir for cheapness, as houses can be had 
for next to nothing, if you do not mind roughing it, and sheep 
cost two rupees and fowls two annas. 

At length Murree is reached — a long line of houses at the top 
of a hill, which I believe is a description of most of the sanitaria 
of India. The prospect from the hotel is very fine and varied, as 
you have views on all sides. To the north and north-west you look 
over an endless sea of plain, then the foot hills advance like tiny 
waves, and, getting bigger as they get towards you, pass on in 
solemn succession till they seem to beat against a noble range of 
peaks, the Pir Punjal, which rises 16,000 feet high, and forms 
the bulk of the mountains I passed on my way to Jhelum. The 
highest points are on the other side of the Kashmir valley. It was 
very cold, and a roaring fire quite acceptable. This, after the heat 
I have suffered, is most extraordinary. At Pindee it is so hot, 
you find it a labour to move about, and at Murree you are shiver- 
ing at 4 p.m. 

Alas! I find no news from Sreenuggur, and next morning I get 
a letter from the resident there, to say that the Maharajah is not 



204 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



expected for a month. This, after his telegram, is too bad. How- 
ever, the weather has been so exceptionally cold that he may have 
changed his mind, as even maharajahs do so occasionally. Here 
have I come to the confines of Kashmir, and must I turn back 
and go off to Jummo in the plains } That is the question. After 
some consideration, and a consultation with the Deputy Com- 
missioner here, I determine not to go back, but to scamper through 
Kashmir, just to say I have seen it. Meanwhile, the Maharajah 
has been telegraphed to to provide every facility, and I hope to 
get from here to Sreenuggur in six or seven days, by doing double 
marches, and, after staying two or three days there, to go down 
to Jummo by the Maharajah's private road. Another week ! At 
Jummo I shall paint the chief, and then get to Simla as quick as 
I can. This is the first expedition I have made for my own 
pleasure, but I think I am entitled to it, having got thus far, 
and I trust to make it pay by the sketches I shall bring back.* 
There is one thing certain, and that is, by no possibility can I 
get a letter by the next post, and I shall be lucky if I catch the 
one after, at Sreenuggur. I have just received the mail of the 28th 
March, and I shall get no more letters till I arrive at Simla, which 
if I am fortunate will be about the 26th May. What I am to do 
at Simla to get through my work there I do not know. 



ON THE BANKS OF THE JHELUM. 

2'jth — ^oth April, isf, 2nd May. 

Having heard nothing of the Maharajah, and having to my 
disgust wasted four days at Murree, I determined to start for 
Sreenuggur, and make my way as well as I could on my own 
account. Not that I was left helpless, for the Deputy-Commis- 
sioner of Murree was most obliging, and not only helped me to 
make my arrangements, but sent a chuprassee with me to the 

* This shows how little a traveller can lay out his route beforehand when 
his movements depend on rajahs.. 



ON THE BANKS OF THE JHELUM. 



205 



borders of British territory. More, of course, he could not do. 
Well, on the'morning of the 27th I sent my baggage off as early 
as possible — not very early, however, as the row and talk delayed 
the departure considerably. At 9.30, after breakfast, I started 
for Kashmir. I was almost ashamed to mount my pony {tat or 
tattoo in Indian lingo), as I was the larger animal of the two ; yet 
the little beast bore me nobly throughout a march of twelve miles. 

Sreenuggur is by the new route 160 miles from Murree ; the 
last forty are by boat. The distance is, therefore, really nothing 
and several active young military men have cantered the whole in 
one day to save their leave ; but for the convenience of travellers 
it is divided into eleven marches, and it is well this is so, for even 
the martial youths above mentioned would find it hard at pre- 
sent to do the distance in anything like good time. This year 
there has been an exceptionally hard winter. At Murree there 
was 1/ feet of snow ; and the melting of this snow has proved a 
sad trial to the road. At first, however, we found everything rosy. 
The day was splendid, although as usual a thunderstorm seemed 
coming up from the plains. The road was good, being freshly 
put in repair, and it wound through the most beautiful trees, re- 
minding one of the glens (carefully kept and much esteemed) 
of some Scotch houses, only the trees were if anything finer, 
and certainly more varied. Through this enchanting scenery we 
trudged, my pony and I, along the brow of a descending ridge, 
the road being now on one side, now on the other, each side 
showing a deep valley and a stream far away below. But I was 
not to escape. I had expected at starting a storm from the 
plains ; and now it came rolling down from the hills. Down 
poured the rain and hail in torrents — thunder and lightning ; but 
I had lately seen so much of the kind of thing that I found the 
truth of the proverb, " Familiarity breeds contempt," and I uncon- 
cernedly continued my journey, till at last my syce begged to be 
allowed to take shelter, and we stayed under a thick tree. Any- 
where else this might have been dangerous , here, however, there 
were so many trees that I felt the odds were in my favour as to 
the striking of my particular shelter. I saw after a time that the 



206 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



storm was very partial, and insisted on going on, and in a quarter 
of an hour we were out of it. A couple of miles farther on there 
had been no rain at all ! But the downfall while it lasted was 
very severe, and we were quickly shown what water can do to a 
road. Splashing and slipping, on we went, Thanks to a good 
waterproof, however, I was mostly dry, and after walking for the 
last three miles to dry my boots, I arrived at Dewal, the first stage. 
Here I stayed for the heat of the day, and made a sketch of 
another storm that seemed working its way up the valley, but which 
happily did not reach me, and starting at 4 p.m., I made my 
second stage in the cool of the afternoon, with great satisfaction 
to myself and beast. I reached Kohala and my new friend the 
Jhelum, after dusk, and rode up to the bungalow to find two 
fellow-travellers finishing their dinner by moonlight. An en- 
chanting scene! A little lawn, with small trees, through which 
the moon shone aslant, and two travellers seated at a table, al 
fresco — a scene for the theatre. But no scene painter could have 
given the distant roar of the Jhelum, a clay-coloured and much- 
swollen stream, not more than fifty yards wide at most, roaring 
and tossing among the rocks with a mighty noise, like a tempest 
among fir-trees, not in gusts, however, but steady and loud. 

This roar we have had ever since, for our way winds along 
the banks of the Jhelum for miles. Mountains rise on each side, 
and the bed is, as I said, narrow ; but there is a sense of power 
in this mass of water so confined, that fills the mind with awe ; 
and its roar grows quite familiar to my ears, for it seems to talk 
far more intelligibly than the dusky fellows around. And so each 
morning before daybreak I am up, and having dispatched my 
luggage on the backs of coolies after much noise and bustle, 
without which no natives can work, I mount my tat as the sun 
begins to touch the higher hills, and start on my morning's ride 
of twelve miles. I do a like amount in the afternoon ; indeed, my 
days' journeys have averaged over twenty-five miles. Delightful 
rides have they been ; uphill and down dale, following the winding 
of my friend the river. Sometimes the way (road it cannot be 
called) would take me far up a gully, till the noise of Jhelum 



ON THE BANKS OF THE JHELUM. 



207 



would fall faintly on the ear, and I came on some mountain 
torrent falling in lofty cascade, or dashing wildly through large 
boulders, and making a sharper noise than the mighty river I 
had just left, like the voice of a child to that of a man. Some- 
times, from lofty tree-top to tree-top below the road, a flock of 
green parroquets would flash out like a flight of fairy rockets, 
their yellow tails gleaming fire, and their sharp cry forming the 
treble to the bass of the falling waters. 

From Murree to Kohala the ground falls rapidly, so that the 
latter place is nearly as low as the plains of Pindee ; but from 
Kohala to Baramula the level of the Jhelum rises considerably, 
and as you approach Kashmir proper, all kinds of well-known 
flowers greet the Britisher. I do not know anything of botany; 
like the Irishman, I can say, " God has denied me that know- 
ledge ; " but still I recognized much here that recalled the native 
wilds of Kensington. Clematis of the large white kind was in 
full blossom ; wild roses, both white and pink, twinkled here and 
there among the more robust shrubs. On one day's march (a 
two days' march in guide books), between Chakooti and Ram- 
nugger, the air was quite laden with the well-known odour of haw- 
thorn, while under the trees grew great hyacinths, and beneath 
the bushes the ground was spotted with wild strawberries in full 
blossom. Here, too, I saw some wondrous birds, some blue * 
as turquoise, some with bright golden tails, and some with white. 
Magnificent butterflies — dark purple, with crimson tails — floated 
over the trees. In fact it was Paradise itself, and reminded me, 
as the cockney says in Bret Harte, of Greenwich. 

Every medal has its reverse. The landscape was lovely, — so 
bright, so wondrous in its fantastic variety ; but amidst all this 
fairy blossom, yet seeming to come from the ground itself, so like 
do they look, and so earthly, you find the inhabitants of these en- 
chanting valleys. Fine tall-looking men, with the look of slaves, 
beasts of burden, and worse ; for beasts of burden at least have 

* This blue bird is the nearest approach to the humming-bird that is to be 
found in India. The long-tailed birds were, I beheve, orioles, who change 
the colour of their tail-feathers according to their age. 



208 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



some one to rub them down, and keep them moderately clean, 
but these have no one. I have seen gipsies, I have seen Irish, and 
I thought I had seen the worst ; but no, these people beat them 
all in filth, and the traveller finds it, to his cost ! Happy is the 
man who gets quit of the flitting flea, with which trifling though 
active inconvenience all the Maharajah's bungalows literally 
swarm. Recollect that these men bear everything one has on 
their dirty backs, or dirtier heads, and imagine what comes to 
bed and bedding, which every Indian traveller carries with him ! 

Between Chakooti and Ramnuggur I passed through my first 
grove of deodars. They are not so big as those I have seen de- 
scribed in books of travels ; still they were mighty trees, and not 
only formed a grateful shade, but gave out an aroma, that was 
not the least pleasing of the delicious scents of the day. From 
the river the groves rise over a considerable height ; while above 
the bungalow at Ramnuggur tower lofty cliffs of 600 to 700 feet 
high. Alas ! here the hand of man has been doing its worst to 
deface the beauteous work of the Creator. Whole hill-sides have 
been charred and blackened by fire ; magnificent trees destroyed 
by wanton carelessness. It appears that the goojas, or herdsmen, 
in winter are in the habit of chopping their firewood from the 
stems of these splendid fellows ; and, not content with that, when 
the hole has become sufficiently deep, actually light their fires in 
the heart of the tree ! Hence you constantly see trees quite dead, 
with the hearts of them completely burnt out. Sometimes you 
pass whole forests of black and charred skeletons, instead of 
beautiful living forms to delight the eye. 

All along this route I found and passed at every bungalow 
parties of people hurrying from the hot plains to the cool valleys 
of Kashmir ; whole families, suffering every possible inconvenience 
from travel and parasite; sometimes the parent (male) bird, and 
sometimes even a delicate lady, accompanied by unruly brats (all 
Indian children are unruly) ; to whom Sreenuggur was a veritable 
Promised Land, but to whom the daily stage could not have been 
a pleasure, and whose household gods were constantly falling 
down cuds and being lost in the rivers. 



ON THE BANKS OF THE JHELUM. 2og 

Finally, after five days' riding, about nine o'clock a.m. on the 
sixth day, I ascended the sharp incline of the Baramula Pass, 
and from the top I saw extended before me the real Valley of 
Kashmir ; a flat rich green-looking plain, with snow-clad hills all 
round, through which wound our old friend the Jhelum, no longer 
the roaring, tossing torrent I had ridden by so many days, bur 
slow, sleek, and prosperous, double its former size, and much like 
other rivers I had seen in Europe. Baramula is the one outlet of 
the valley, and of course there is a tradition that the whole valley 
was once filled with water : an immense lake, in fact, inhabited by 
a fiend in the shape of a dragon. A convenient deity cleft the 
mountains at Baramula and let out the Jhelum, and the dragon 
died, &c., &c. The road, unfortunately, does not pass the spot 
where the Jhelum pierces its mountain barrier, but I am told 
the cliffs are really very fine ; and I can well believe it, for the 
fall must be considerable, and the wear and tear of ages will 
probably have made splendid precipices. In some parts of its 
course farther down there are tremendous rapids ; particularly at 
Tinali, where I saw a plucky hill man descend the torrent on a 
miissock, a skin filled with air. He came down at 'a terrific pace, 
bobbing round like a cork amid the foam of the water. There 
seemed to be no difficulty in the operation, and I confess I had 
a great longing to try it myself 

The degradation of the inhabitants both of the valley of the 
Jhelum and the Valley of Kashmir proper is the more remarkable, 
inasmuch as they really seem prosperous. It is true I bought a 
sheep for R.i Sa. (three shillings), and that a coolie gets sixpence 
for carrying a heavy load ten, twelve, or fifteen miles ; but the land 
is well cultivated where it is possible for cultivation to exist, and 
pleasant great terraces of corn, in giant steps, ascend many of the 
hills to a considerable distance. Indeed, high up on the moun- 
tain you can see patches of green and occasional wreaths of blue 
smoke, telling of the presence of man and his works. Even there 
corn seems to thrive, and in some places is ripening fast. The 
crops appear, too, to be quite independent of season, for by the 
side of fast-ripening corn you see tender plants, hardly struggling 

14 



210 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



into existence."^ That these people — industrious, healthy, and 
prosperous — should be the veriest curs, is a curious instance for 
Darwin of inherited defects, and can only be explained by the 
fact that from ages immemorial they have always been kicked 
and trampled on by invaders innumerable. We added the last 
straw when we handed them over to the present Maharajah for 
75 lacs — which, by-the-bye, have never been paid — and thereby 
lost the finest sanitarium for our troops, and earned the curses 
of Kashmirians, who, being Mohammedans, were turned over 
to a Hindoo and a bigot, with whom they have no sympathy, 
and who grinds them down in every possible way. Not only is 
beef forbidden in the country, but everybody is taxed in all kinds 
of vexatious ways, and even the miserable coolie has to give a 
quarter of his hardly-earned sixpence to swell this alien Maha- 
rajah's hoard. All this has been talked over and discussed by 
dozens of travellers lately, for writing of this part of the world 
has become the fashion, and we have had all kinds of sentimental 
names given to the Himalaya — " the abode of snow," " above the 
snow," " the backbone of the world," " the roof of the ditto ; " 
all these and many more phrases are constantly in the mouths of 
British excursionists, who also quote freely from " Lalla Rookh," 
or rather from " Lalla Rookh " second-hand, through the guide 
book. 

Descending from Baramula Pass, you quickly find yourself 
on a plain, and by a row of poplar-trees, which trees are found 
planted together in avenues all over the valley. I was much 
reminded of Switzerland by the general look of the country, but 
there were many things to tell one that Europe was far away. 
Baramula town was on the opposite side of the river. Its houses 
— -indeed most of the houses hereabouts — are flat roofed, or with 
very slight incline, and covered over with thick grass. On many 
of them there were thick beds of blue iris, which appears to grow 
here like buttercups at home. The whole meadow at Baramula 
was carpeted with them. The bungalow was on the banks of the 
Jhelum, which is about as broad as the Thames at Maidenhead, 

* This was rice. 



ON THE BANKS OF THE JHELUM. 



211 



and here you take boat for Sreenugger, and of course come in for 
the usual noise and bustle. Landing or embarking, there is always 
the same row, whether it be Dover or Calais, Leghorn or Venice 
Alexandria, Bombay, or Baramula. Here the row was increased 
by the number of shawl merchants, jewellers, and other trades- 
men, who all requested you to put down your name in their 
books. Natives have a passion for cJiits or certificates ; not a 
sweeper or cJmprassee but wants a piece of paper with something 
written thereon, and as of course they cannot read English, some 
times their much-prized certificates are not what they imagine 
them to be. 

Kashmir boats are long flat-bottomed concerns, of most primi- 
tive construction, made of long planks of deodar. They are 
pointed at the end, and turned up somewhat like a gondola, but 
they are paddled with a short paddle, the rower of course sitting 
or squatting down. There are two sizes, the smaller ones being 
called shikarees^ the larger ones dongas, I embarked in a shikaree, 
sending my luggage in a donga. The boat was towed as far 
as Sopor (ten miles), where the Walla Lake begins. From this 
point we have to take to rowing, and many anxious glances are 
cast to windward, to watch for the coming squall ; for these 
boats, having grass roofs and flat bottoms, are apt to turn " up- 
so-down " with the least wind. Not that it would have made 
any difference ; our wary watermen kept so close in to the bank 
that we frequently ran aground, and seldom were in water deep 
enough to cause the least danger. At about nine, however, the 
wind sprang up, and my boatmen refused to go on ; so I rolled 
myself up in my rug, and slept the best way I could, though it 
was mighty cold. Long before daylight I woke, to find the moon 
well up and the weather calm, so routing out my lazy rowers I 
insisted on their starting again. Thus the hours slid by, till a 
number of poplars and a fort on the summit of a hill told us we 
were approaching Sreenugger. Soon we were gliding up the 
river between dilapidated -looking houses and tumbled -down 
temples, and had arrived at our destination. 

14—2 



CHAPTER XIV. 



KASHMIR— SREENUGGER. 

SREENUGGER, the capital of Kashmir, is a long straggling 
city, lying along both banks of the Jhelum, which here is a 
broad, stately stream, spanned by seven bridges made of logs 
of deodar. Besides these bridges there are one or two mosques, 
which, being built of wood and covered with vegetation, do not 
come up to one's ideas of a public building ; one or two bright- 
looking temples also appear, built by the piety of the present 
Maharajah and his son, but they are small and unimportant. 
The palace, too, is a most tawdry edifice, with painted blinds 
and verandahs of the gaudiest colours, without an atom of real 
splendour or artistic merit. The houses are mostly built of wood 
or small tile, like bricks uncemented. Many of them have a 
decided twist, and look as if the least breath would bring them 
down. Altogether the town has a tumbledown, " has been " sort 
of look, as though its best days were over, and so I fear they are. 
There are 120,000 inhabitants in the town, of whom 90,000 are 
Mohammedans, and only 30,000 Hindoos, the ruling class here. 

History, they say, repeats itself ; rather, I think, events swing 
like a pendulum. Thus the Moslems, who for many years were 
the ruling race in India, and ruled with a rod of iron over the 
Hindoo, have been ousted by us ; and here in Kashmir, where 
the rebound of our power did not quite reach, we handed them 
over to a Hindoo, who avenges the wrongs suffered by his fore- 
fathers with interest. 

It is a mild form of Islamism here practised, but such as it is 
it is trampled on in every possible way. The Government is a 
tyranny of the worst kind, tempered by the character of the 

212 



KASHMIR—SREENUGGER. 



213 



Maharajah, who is a good sort of a man, but weak. Every trade 
practised by Moslems is taxed fearfully. Each shawl-weaver, for 
example, has to pay 20 rupees a year for the right to weave. 
The tax used to be much more in the flourishing days of shawl- 
weaving. Alas ! the fashion has changed. The middlemen failed, 
the workmen could not pay their tax, and the Rajah found him- 
self with the whole trade in his hands, and everybody bankrupt 
to him. He, poor man, has been trying to resuscitate the trade, 
but it is easy to pull Humpty Dumpty down, and all the maha- 
rajahs and all their men cannot put him up again. The shawls, 
too, have themselves gone off considerably. Europeans have 
interfered, and, directly they do that, a purely Asiatic manufac- 
ture seems to fall to pieces. 

No inhabitant of Kashmir can leave the country without the 
direct sanction of the chief, neither is he allowed to follow any 
trade but that of his forefathers ; so these miserable weavers sub- 
sist as well as they can on the poor rations served out to them 
by the Government. 

Our Government seems to give its support to this one-horse 
sort of policy, for no oflicer is allowed to go into Kashmir with- 
out signing a paper binding himself not to bring away with him 
any subject of the Maharajah's. Many instances have been 
known of love-sick subalterns who have tried to evade the law. 
Kashmiree women have been conveyed out of that territory in 
kiltas (large leather boxes) on the backs of coolies. The very 
idea of breaking so stupid a law adds a pleasure to the risk, and 
after all, from what one hears, there is a brisk trade with the 
plain in Kashmiree houris, and it is certainly true that hardly ever 
can one meet a decent-looking young woman in Sreenugger. 

The people themselves are a fine tall race, and are certainly 
clever. At Murree I broke my watch, and found it such a 
nuisance to be without the means of knowing the time, that I 
sent for the native watchmaker here, and ran the risk of having 
my English works destroyed. The man came, squatted on the 
floor, took my watch to pieces, cleaned the works with the end 
of his turban, and proceeded to put them together. He asked 



214 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



me whether I had any gun oil, and finding I had none, sent his 
man out, who brought some back on the end of his thumb, with 
which the machinery was well greased. Strange to say, my watch 
has gone well ever since, and, without any further regulating, has 
kept most excellent time. 

What plays the devil with the country is the terrible tyranny 
of the alien dogras. Once a weaver, you must still weave, even 
if you have to starve ; once a cultivator of the soil, and you must 
go on : you pay no rent, but half the produce of your land belongs 
to the Government, and of the other half much is seized by 
middlemen. A carpenter thinks himself well off with two rupees 
a month, but can hardly be expected to take much pride in his 
work when it only brings in one shilling a week. 

I have not yet been in the back part of the town, or seen the 
Dall Lake, on which are the celebrated floating gardens. I am 
told the filth is perfectly astounding, and I can well believe it. 
It is the fashion of well-to-do Kashmirees to leave their drainage 
before their front door. Verbiim sap. 

The English quarter is a mile or two from the town, in some 
pleasant gardens. There, amid apple, mulberry, and pear-trees, 
the Maharajah has built some bungalows, of which he reserves a 
few, and the others are at the service of any English that may 
come. There is a great scramble for these bungalows. First 
come first served, is the law, and many squabbles arise when 
people arrive at the same time. However, there are many more 
people than bungalows, and all about are to be seen the tents 
of the English. I, being a guest of the Maharajah, have one of 
the reserved bungalows, close to the river. From my windows I 
have a splendid view of the Pir Punjal mountains, rising from 
ii,ooo to 16,000 feet, with eternal snow on their summits. The 
weather having been much like an English May, I have an end- 
less variety of effects before me. Heavy clouds, gleams of sun- 
shine, snow glistening through the mist or far above the thunder- 
clouds, form a never-ending source of study and delight, and if I 
were inclined to be lazy, I could spend hours sitting at my win- 
dow gazing with open mouth. From the river to the foot hills is 



KA SHMIR—SREENUGGER. 



215 



a flat and rich plain, with rows of poplars and splendid chenars or 
Oriental plane-trees, while immediately under my windows rolls 
the Jhelum, with many boats floating on its calm waters, and in 
each boat a number of statues, looking as though they had been 
ages buried and had not yet had the earth cleaned ofl" them, but 
superb in fold and limb. In such a place, and amid such sur- 
roundings, the delay of a Maharajah may be excused, and although 
I am much put out by the upsetting of all my plans, I am trying 
to make the best of a bad bargain. The worst is that I do not 
know if the Maharajah has yet left Jummo ; and he is so super- 
stitious that he may stop half-way for a month, if only his cunning 
astrologers say it is not lucky to enter his capital. He wrote to 
the resident here to say that if I was in a great hurry I could meet 
him half-way, and he would stay a day for me to make a sketch 
of him. This would be impossible, for not only is he a most 
elaborately-dressed potentate, but I have moreover to make a 
sketch of his little son, who was page to Lord Lytton on the 
grand occasion, and consequently occupied a prominent place in 
the ceremony. So I must e'en wait for His Highness here, and I 
have therefore set to work making studies of the inhabitants of 
the Happy Valley, and have already got well on with two natitcJi 
girls, with whose much-bespangled heads I hope to turn an honest 
penny by-and-bye. I lead a most healthy life, — up by half-past 
six, when I go out for a ride on a pony provided for my bulky 
requirements by the obliging Vizier. When I come in, I work 
or write till half-past ten, and then breakfast. My model comes 
at eleven, and sits till half-past four or five, when I go out and 
read the papers and potter about till dinner; and so to bed early. 
There is a large English colony here ; and there is a reading-room, 
and polo, cricket, badminton, and lawn-tennis, — everything the 
world can desire. Added to this, it's cool, although we have 
thunder and rain pretty well every afternoon ; so I shall do very 
well, only, as I said before, drat all rajahs ! With all this English 
element about, there is a lack of picturesque Orientalism, and I 
find but little to record. Let me hope by next mail the Rajah 
may be in. Alas ! it is almost hopeless to expect him. 



2l6 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



20th May. 

" If woman can make the worst wilderness dear, 
Think, think what a heaven she must make of Cashmere." 

So writes, or rather gurgles, Thomas Moore, and as he is quoted 
in the guide book, that part of " Lalla Rookh " is at least read I 
doubt whether " woman's affection " can exist here, and to me 
such thoughts have no attraction. My eyes are fixed in the 
direction of Jummo, and I look eagerly for the boats of the Maha- 
rajah. There is no doubt, however, that the Vale of Kashmir is 
a very pleasant place in May. In the early morning there is a 
keen bracing feeling in the air, which is truly delightful. Far 
away you see clear cut against the sky a snowy range of moun- 
tains, with fantastic and ever-varied form of Gothic spire or 
Saracen dome, stretching so far that the farther peaks seem like 
ghosts in the sky, and around you as you ride (and I do ride) 
you pass many a most picturesque object, human or otherwise. 
Along the mountain track finely-draped figures of men trudge 
by you, with brawny chest and arms of a splendid brown show- 
ing through their sad-coloured puttoo clothes, which you hope 
are the natural colours of the wool, and not filthy ; or women 
with strongly-marked but handsome features, balancing heavy 
loads on their heads. These are the Kashmirees proper, the 
slaves of the soil and its Maharajah, going to work or market. 
Sometimes you meet a Punditanee or Hindoo lady, with clothes 
of a rich red (most acceptable to the artist), or men with red or 
blue pugrees ; and in every pug7'ee — red, blue, or white — do these 
people stick great clusters of yellow flowers or crimson poppies, 
which shine like jewels against pugree and skin. Then, as the 
ground gently rises, you pass over the shoulder of the Tukt-i- 
Suleiman, and see stretched below you the Dall (or town) Lake, 
' turquoise, and purple as it takes reflection or ripple amidst the 
greenest meadows ; and, as if the earth were not enough to 
bear the fruits of teeming nature, the very lake itself is covered 
with floating islands, on which are grown cucumbers and melons, 
now only in their first fresh greenery ; while all around tower the 
lower hills, respectable mountains anywhere else, but here only 



KASHMIR—SREENUGGER. 



217 



hills. Or you leave the broader track called a road here, and 
branch off along a path through the fields, where the corn is well 
up and shining with dewy diamonds from beard and leaf, or where 
there are patches quite ablaze with poppies ; and when the corn 
ceases, you ride through whole beds of irises, white and blue. 
Below you see the green valley, and in the blue distance the 
snowy peaks of the Pir, already, at seven, gathering clouds which 
at midday will quite obscure their lovely outline. Quite a heaven 
indeed is Kashmir, you think, till you come to a tumbledown 
house, filthy and miserable, round which are one or two squalid 
children deep in muck, but no homestead or farmyard. This is 
where the people live who till this Paradise, and have to pay 
three-quarters of their produce to the Maharajah and overseer for 
the questionable privilege. 

N.B. — An agriculturist would no doubt say that the flowers 
that delighted me showed either poor land or indifferent cultiva- 
tion. 

The ride I have attempted to describe above is the one I have 
taken for the last four mornings, while I have been employed in 
making a sketch. I can imagine nothing pleasanter than the 
whole scene, temperature and all, at 5.30 a.m. One morning I 
rode along the embankment that separates the lower town from 
the Jhelum. A treacherous friend is the now peacefully-flowing 
river. In the months of June and July, when the snows melt on 
the hills, and there happens to come on one of those frequent 
thunderstorms, the river rises with wonderful rapidity. Three 
years ago, all the English who live on its banks had to take to 
boat, or camp as best they could on the Tukt-i-Sulieman, the 
hill overlooking the English quarter ; and the bund that enclosed 
the Dall Lake and the lower part of the town was nearly washed 
away. Now everything is green and pleasant. The chenar-ivQo^s, 
which give the name of Chenar Bagh ("garden of chenars ") to 
the low-lying land on the river side of the bund, are magnificent 
in foliage and shade, and form a pleasant camping-ground for 
bachelors. But my road farther on led through a part of the 
town, and truly I may say that in filth Sreenugger has few equals 



2l8 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



and no superiors. It has this year been partially cleaned, for last 
year there was a terrible visitation of cholera. Now, Sreenugger is 
over 5,000 feet above the sea, and ought to be exempt, especially 
as draining is comparatively easy, there being a deep and quick- 
flowing river handy. In India, however, the cholera comes where- 
ever there is the least encouragement, and here they meet it half- 
way. Even in Murree, an English sanitarium, the ravages were 
fearful ; which was hard on those people who sought its pleasant 
heights to escape the perils of the plains, like the lassies in the 
old Scotch song : 

" Jenny Lee and Bessie Bell, 

They were twa bonnie lassies ; 
They bigged a bower on yonder hill-top, 
And theaked it o'er with rashes. 

" They bigged a bower on yonder hill-side, 
And theaked it o'er with heather ; 
But the pest came up fra yonder toun, 
And killed them baith tagither." 

So the people of Murree had a great scare, and the Government 
at Simla shook in its shoes, for the cholera was there too ; and I 
am partially affected by the fright of last year, for Lord Lytton 
will have no Rajah there this summer, as it is supposed they (the 
rajahs) bring the cholera with them, or at all events produce it 
by the filthy habits of their over-crowded followers. 

Another morning I went to the Jumma Musjid, which is a vast 
quadrangle, with four square mosques in the centre of the four 
sides, built entirely of deodar wood. The pillars supporting the 
roof are made of single stems, and being very tall, have an ex- 
ceedingly simple and grand appearance. Alas! all is now in ruin. 
There is a goodly crop of hay on the roof, interspersed with 
beautiful irises, which flower grows plentifully on most of the 
roofs of Sreenugger. But here, besides hay and iris, there are 
bushes, and almost trees, and of course the roof is quickly giving 
way, though the building was only built by Shah Jehan, in six- 
teen hundred and something. 

• Beyond these morning rides and excursions I have nothing to 



KASHMIR— SREENUGGER. 



219 



record of Sreenuggur. I work all day long ; in the morning at 
landscape, and in the day from people I have got to sit, generally 
of that class whose sayings and doings are not to be recorded. 
They are not very pretty, but lend themselves to picturesque 
treatment from the richness of their dress and multitude of their 
ornaments. 

Time goes by rapidly and not unpleasantly, and consequently 
monotonously. To-day I heard that the Maharajah had really 
started three days ago, so that if he has not a stomach-ache, or 
anything to delay him, I may next mail record his entry into his 
capital, which I hear is worth seeing. 

I believe the resident and I are the only English persons in 
Sreenugger who have anything to do. The others are come simply 
to kill time, and spend their six months' leave in a state of vege- 
tation. Of the visitors here three-quarters at least are Irish. The 
rich brogue of the West of Ireland is heard everywhere, and if 
it were not for the mountains, you might think yourself on the 
banks of the Shannon instead of the Jhelum. Professionally, 
doctors and artillerymen form the most numerous class; civilians 
are rarely seen, I being the only un-military man among the 
hundred visitors now assembled. Of course picnics, &c., are the 
order of the day, but I keep away from them, as they are a great 
waste of time. There are several " spins " here, by which elegant 
name the unmarried and bachelor-hunting young lady goes in 
India. Some of them are pretty, or at least look pretty here. 

I am, however, quite safe. It does not require woman to make 
the wilderness of Kashmir attractive to me. 

loth May. 

Still at Sreenugger. Happily I have at last got my sailing 
orders, and leave on the 3rd June to meet the Maharajah at 
Islamabad, or rather at Acchabul, a place six miles from that 
town. It appears that the stars are not propitious, and that 
His Highness is forbidden by their decree to enter his capital 
during this month. Now we are only at the i8th of the month, 
according to the Indian calendar, and I can't afford to wait so 



220 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



much longer ; so I am to meet him half-way, and he has consented 
to give me the necessary sittings there. 

Meanwhile I have made several expeditions to the neighbour- 
hood. On Sunday last I started at 6 a.m. for a tour round the 
Dall Lake. It was truly delightful ; everything was calm and 
delicious, without a ripple to disturb the reflection, so that you 
were quite unconscious of where the mountains ended or the 
water began, only here and there were little patches of water- 
lilies to give the necessary green note amid the blue reflection of 
the hills. Here is the place where Lalla Rookh lived and spooned. 
Alas ! the water-lilies are not in blossom, and the famous gardens 
show signs of neglect and decay. 

When Baber first won Hindostan for the Mohammedan Moguls, 
he lamented that through the length and breadth of the land 
there were no fountains or pleasant gardens. Both he and his 
descendants worked hard to introduce a Persian love of flowers 
and birds, and wherever they visited there are traces of green 
delight. The Nishat Bagh, celebrated for its cherries and its 
delicious view across the lake, owes its formation to the Mogul ; 
and Shallimar, famous throughout the world, full of pleasant 
pavilions and shady groves, was built as a present from the 
amorous Jehanghire to his Noor Jehan. Both are full of mag- 
nificent trees, — mostly chenai^s or plane-trees, — and 'tis pleasant 
to recline in their shade, and think of the mighty monarchs of 
the past, who here forgot the cares of state amid the beauties 
of nature and the smiles of their loved ones. Bigoted Moslems 
though they were, they did not disdain to pledge their favourites 
in wine-filled bowls ; great kings, but with a true feeling for art 
and beauty. The present ruler of Kashmir has no such feeling. 
He cares for nothing but making money, and the sordid and 
terrible gods of the Hindoos. To him nature smiles not; swift 
river and blue lake for him have no charm, and are only toler- 
able as a means of taxation. From the hard-working cultivator 
of floating garden and from the toiling fisherman alike is ex- 
acted the half of the produce of his labour ; only before the 
palace no nets must be spread or lines laid, for the great Maha- 



KASHMIR—SREENUGGER. 



221 



rajah believes that the soul of his revered father inhabits the 
body of a fish which now haunts the banks of the river whence 
rises his former home. 

Shallimar must have cost a pretty penny. Its pavilions are 
pillared with black marble, which must have been brought a great 
way, and, with no roads and plenty of mountains, they must 
have been costly indeed. But what was that to Jehanghire, when 
a smile of Noor Jehan was at stake ? She was a superior person, 
no doubt, and fond of power, and on the death of her husband 
gave his successor a deal of bother. Well, she lies near Lahore 
in another garden, quiet enough now, or, maybe, filling wine- 
cups for her beloved in Mohammed's Paradise. Who knows? 
And will Jehanghire remain faithful there, or will the smile of 
innumerable houris win him from his earthly love ? 

A rollicking, wine-bibbing, lovesick monarch was this Jehan- 
ghire, of whom we have a curious account by Sir T. Roe, who 
was sent "Ambassador from James I. to Jehan Guire, the mighty 
Emperor of India, commonly called the Great Mogul." Take this 
account of an evening with the Great Mogul. 

On the 2nd of September was the King's birthday, and Sir T. 
Roe found him "sitting cross-legged on a little throne, all covered 
with diamonds, pearls, and rubies ; before him a table of gold, 
and on it about fifty pieces of gold plate, all set with jewels, some 
very great and extremely rich. His nobility were about him, in 
their best equipage, whom he commanded to drink merrily, several 
sorts of wine standing by in great flagons. He asked whether I 
would drink with them. I answered that I would do whatever 
his Majesty commanded, but hoped that it would not be too 
much or too strong. I drank a little, but it was stronger than 
any I had ever tasted, insomuch that it made me sneeze, which 
made him laugh. Then he made merry, and sent me word that 

he esteemed me more than he had ever done Then 

he threw about, to those who stood below, two chargers of new 
rupees, and to us who stood around, two chargers of hollow 
almonds of gold and silver, mixed. But I would not scramble 
as his great men did, for I saw his son take up none. Then he 



222 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



gave sashes of gold and girdles to all the musicians and waiters, 
and to many others. So, drinking and commanding others to do 
the same, his Majesty and all his lords became the finest men that 
ever I saw, and of a thousand humours. But his son, Asaph 
Khan"^, two old men, the late King of Candahar, and myself, for- 
bore. When he could hold up his head no longer, he laid down 
to sleep, and we all departed." On another occasion the worthy 
knight records how " the Mogul fell to drinking of Alicante wine 
I had presented him" with a like result, for presently "he turned 
to sleep, the candles were popped out, and I groped my way out 
in the dark." Fancy Jehanghire sleeping " in his boots," like a 
good gentleman as he was ! 

Sometimes, however, the mornings were not so pleasant. It 
appears that when Jehanghire permitted any of his nobles to 
drink in his presence, their names were taken down by an indi- 
vidual of the name of the bakshi, and they were obliged to drink, 
whether they wished or no. One morning one of these unfortunate 
topers remarked what a fine drink they had had the night before. 
The King, being out of sorts, called the bakshi, and had the names 
of his last night's guests read over. " Some he fined ; some that 
were nearer his person he caused to be whipped before him, they 
receiving one hundred and thirty stripes with a terrible instru- 
ment, having at the ends of four cords irons like spur-rowels, so 
that every stroke made four wounds. When they lay for dead 
on the ground, he commanded the standers-by to spurn them, 
and after that the porters to break their staves on them. Then, 
most cruelly mangled and bruised, they were carried out. One 
of them died on the spot." And no wonder, I should say ! Who 
would not wish to live at an Eastern emperor's Court ? 

This, too, is a good picture of the Court of Jehanghire at his 
daily court of justice at the Jarruco window. "Two eunuchs stood 
on two trestles, with long poles and feather fans at the end of 
them, fanning him. He bestowed his favours and received 

* Asaph Khan was brother of Noor Jehan the Queen, and Prime Minister. 
The son was Prince Khurm, who affected to be a strict Mohammedan. He 
was afterwards King under the name of Shah Jehan (King of the World). 



KASHMIR—SREENUGGER. 



223 



presents. What he bestowed he let down by a silk string rolled 
on a turning instrument ; what was given to him, a venerable, fat, 
deformed old matron, wrinkled and hung round with gimbels 
like an image, pulled up at a hole with such another clue. At one 
side of the window were his principal wives, whose curiosity made 
them break little holes in a grate of reeds that hung before it to 
gaze on me. I first saw their fingers, and then they laying their 
faces close, first the one and then the other, I could sometimes 
discern their full proportion. They were indifferent white, with 
black hair smoothed up ; but if there had been no other light, 
their diamonds and pearls had sufficed to show them. When I 
looked up they retired, and were so merry that I suppose they 
laughed at me . . Then the King starts on a journey thus : 
" He came downstairs with such an acclamation of * Health to 
the King ! ' as would have out-roared cannon. At the foot of the 
stair, where I met him, and shuffled to be next, one brought a 
mighty carp, another a dish of white stuff like starch, into which 
he put his finger, and touched the fish, and so rubbed it on his 
forehead, a ceremony used presaging good fortune. Then another 
came and girt on his sword and hung on his buckler, set all over 
with diamonds and rubies, the belts of gold suitable. Another 
hung on his quiver, with thirty arrows, and his bow in its case. On 
his head he wore a rich turban, with a plume of heron's feathers ; 
not many, but long. On one side hung a ruby, unset, as big as 
a walnut ; on the other a diamond as large ; in the middle an 
emerald like a heart, much bigger. His staff was wound about 
with a chain of great pearls, rubies, and diamonds drilled. About 
his neck he wore a chain of three strings of most excellent pearl, 
the largest I ever saw ; above his elbows armlets set with dia- 
monds ; and on his wrist three rows of several sorts ; his hands 
bare, but almost on every finger a ring ; his gloves, which were 
English, stuck under his girdle ; his coat of cloth of gold, without 
sleeves, upon a white semain as thin as lawn ; on his feet a pair 
of buskins, embroidered with pearl, the toes sharp and turning 
up. Thus armed and accoutred, he went to the coach that 
attended him, with his new English servant, who, clothed as rich 



224 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



as any player, and more gaudy, had broke four horses, which 
were trapped and harnessed in gold velvet. This was the first 
coach he ever sat in, made by that sent out of England, so like 
that I knew it not but by the cover, which was a Persian gold 
velvet. He sat at the end, and on each side went two eunuchs, 
who carried small maces of gold, set all over with rubies, with a 
long bunch of horsetail to flap away the flies. Before him went 
drums, bass trumpets, and loud music, many canopies, umbrellas, 
and other strange ensigns of majesty, made of cloth of gold, set 
in many places with rubies. Nine led horses, the furniture some 
garnished with rubies, some with pearls and emeralds, some only 
with studs enamelled, &c." Yet I do not envy the Great Mogul 
in his coach, for I know what the roads were, and can imagine 
that his dignity was much ruffled by the jolts that I too have 
experienced. 

This place is getting unpleasantly full ; there are as many as 
two hundred families here, and the encampments begin to be dis- 
agreeable. The weather is getting hot too, and soon will every- 
body flit to the Valley of Gulmerg, a place full of flowers, about 
4,000 feet higher up the mountains, as its name implies — gul 
("rose"), and inerg ("a valley between hills"). There is a curious 
collection here of humdrum married people and wild subalterns. 
In the next bungalow to me there are four of these roysterers, and 
the well-known sound of many an English ditty mingles with 
the gurgle of the Jhelum and the sigh of the wind through the 
poplars. The other day, the mirth having got particularly furious, 
one of the youths seized a friend and proceeded to throw him 
out of the window, and was stayed in his intention of dropping 
him thence by the remark of an Irishman there, " Arrah, now ! 
don't waste him : wait till some one is coming by ! "* 

Another expedition I made with the resident here, or rather 
Officer on Special Duty at the Court of the Maharajah, as his title 
runs. It was to see an old and rich merchant named Billih Shah. 
We went by boat through a number of small canals, winding 

* The Irishman in question had heard, no doubt, of the same speech made 
at the Dublin theatre, where the flinger was asked to wait for a fiddler. 



KA SHMIR—S RE EN UGGER. 



225 



among many pollard poplars and willows, and unspeakable stinks. 
The merchant's house was built, like most of the houses of 
Sreenugger, of small bricks, and had the windows prettily fitted 
up with pierced woodwork, which made the whole place look 
like a toy house. Old Srcenugger (the City of the Sun — sree 
being suraj) was built of stone. All about one sees huge blocks, 
the remains of the old, but now used as foundations to the 
modern city, amongst which you may trace much carving de- 
stroyed by the iconoclastic Mohammedans years ago. To 
excuse their laziness, the modern Srecnuggerians say that they 
cannot build with stone — which is, by-the-bye, close at hand — 
because of the earthquakes. My notion is that it would require a 
devil of an earthquake to rouse them from their degraded apathy. 

Billih Shah, being an old man, had his beard dyed a bright 
purple. He was evidently rather a dandy, and was neatly got up 
in white. A thin, dapper little man, with a sly little eye, hardly 
perceptible, so much is it screwed up with a cunning look — and a 
man must be sly to make his fortune in this benighted country. 
He treated us sumptuously with tea and innumerable cakes and 
sweets. Amongst the luxuries he brought for our approval was 
the brick tea drunk universally in the interior, which I have no 
hesitation in saying is by far the nastiest stuff I ever put into my 
mouth, and worse than the worst physic. It is prepared, I believe, 
with bullocks' blood, or something even more horrible. 

One evening I went to a wedding. I was not allowed to join 
in the ceremony, but viewed the proceedings from an upper 
window. Seven days the toinasha had lasted, and day and night 
were women howling congratulatory verses to the bridegroom 
who sat feasting with his intimates the while. On a certain day 
rings are put into the bride's ears and nose ; on another her hands 
are marked with henna, and so on. She lived in a house hard by, 
where the happy man was allowed to see her for a short time each 
day, being conducted to and fro with much ceremony and many 
torches stinking and reeking, as I found to my cost. I have taken 
down many of the distiches sung on the occasion, and am trying 
to get them translated, when, if they are worth it, I will add them 

15 



226 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



to my diary. The continued howling of the women becomes very 
irksome after a time, and although the sight was curious, I was 
glad to get away after a couple of hours. The bride was nine 
years old. 

The following is a translation of the songs sung at a Kashmiree 
wedding : — 

THE BRIDEGROOM'S MOTHER TO HER SON. 
What savoury dish shall I cook thee ? Fishes of ShalHmar ? 
On thy earring I will string pearls. 
Thou art green grass, or if not, a red pearl. 
O Parrot,* thy body is resplendent ! 
Why dost thou sit leaning thy elbow on the window ? 
Descend, and I will spread gold for thee. 
When thou leavest this, sit in a plastered room,t 
And thou must take a doll J with thee. 

bridegroom's MOTHER TO THE BRIDE. 

Mainah ! Mainah ! thou art a scornful Mainah ! 

Thou art the possessor of the riches of thy husband's house. 
Thy vine§ clings on thee in spiral curves, 
And round it pearls I will string. 

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE TO THE BRIDEGROOM. 

All thy companions are youthful. 

Bearing rods of pearl in their hands ! 

All of them are wealthy — are great ! 

Which of them will be the bearer of thy morchal? || 

Thou didst emerge from beneath the mountains, resplendent as the sun ! 

1 will string pearls on thy beardless chin.H 

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE TO THE BRIDEGROOM'S FATHER. 

youthful bridegroom's father, who was thy counsellor ? ** 
Thy face is worthy of a pearl necklace ! 

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE TO THE BRIDEGROOM. 

1 have spread for thee the bed in the public sitting-room. 

cavalier ! make thy heart happy ! 

Had I known thee to be of such distinguished rank. 

We would have spread for thee a couch in the private apartment. ft 

MOTHER OF THE BRIDEGROOM TO THE BRIDEGROOM. 

Urge on thy steed in every direction. 

1 will prepare thy seat in the garden pavilion : 

* i.e., Bridegroom. f The height of luxury in Kashmir. 

X i e., The bride. § Curls of hair. || Emblem of rank. 

IT Rather a difficult operation, one would think, but meaning only kissing. 
** Who chose this particular bride ? f f Reserved for distinguished guests. 



KA SHMIR- SREEN UGGER. 



227 



On thy right the Koran, on thy left the necklace. 
Thou art worthy to be called Lalla Gopal !* 

MOTHER OF THE BRIDEGROOM TO THE BRIDE. 

Didst thou suffer any inconvenience in thy glass jainpan ? \ 
Accept thy bridegroom's house as a jogeerX to thyself. 

SINGING WOMEN ENGAGED BY THE BRIDE'S FATHER. 

bridegroom's mother ! O kettle of pilau / || 
Come forward, sprinkling rose-water ! 

Arouse her (the bride). Early give her to drink of tea. 
Always consider her the beloved of the house. 

SINGING WOMEN TO THE BRIDEGROOM'S FATHER. 

Before God we have given her over to thee, O father ! 
What return shall we receive at thy hands ? 

SINGING WOMEN TO THE BRIDE AND BRIDEGROOM. 

The Parrot of Lahore and the Mainah of Kashmir ! 
How did you both become mutually acquainted ? 

MOTHER OF THE BRIDEGROOM TO HER SON. 

"Why haltest thou in the warmth of the walnut-tree ? 
Come and sit in the cool shade of the chenar.^ 

MOTHER OF THE BRIDEGROOM TO ASSEMBLED WOMEN. 

1 spread a carpet for them on the stream's glossy bank, 
Where Shirisi will be met by Farhad. 

MOTHER OF THE BRIDEGROOM TO THE BRIDE. 

O Mainah ! hast thou seated thyself on the green grass ? 
Spare kneeling-room** for the Parrot ! 

SINGING WOMEN. 

O bridegroom's father ! O black beard ! 

Roses have blossomed in thy garden ! 

Has the sound of our much singing reached thy ear? 

O father ! it is for thee to give us the guerdon of our song ! 

I am indebted for the translation of the above to the courtesy 
of Major Henderson, C.S.I., who was political officer in Kashmir, 
and an excellent linguist. 

The song is a good picture of the manners of the country, 
and the way that the Moslem and Hindoo customs have acted on 

* Lalla Gopal, one of the names of Krishna, who was supposed to have 
been the type of loveliness. Curious, this, when sung by a Mohammedan ! 
f Jampan is the light palanquin used in the hills. J Jogeer — grant. 

II Term of praise. ^ There is a tradition in Kashmir that the shade of 
a chenar is cooler than the shade of any other tree. ** The bridegroom 
performs his devotions on a coloured cloth on which the bride sits. 

15 — 2 



228 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 




VIEW OF THE BALL LAKE, FROM THE NISHAT BAGH. 



each other. Whilst at Sreenugger I have painted two or three 
nautch girls, and it was through them that I got to this wedding, 
as they were amongst the singers. Now these girls, like most 
nautch girls in India, were all Moslemehs, yet had they all the caste 
feeling of the Hindoo. Of moral sentiment they were entirely 
innocent, but they would never permit any one to drink out of 
their cup or smoke from their hookah, and they always went 
about with these two utensils, for smoke and tea are the two 
things necessary to a Kashmiree. So in this song a Kashmiree 
Moslem is made to say " beautiful as Krishna." 

On the other hand, the Hindoos throughout India, and here 
especially, shut up their women, and never allow them to go out 
without the thickest veil ; yet is the Zenana strictly Mohammedan. 
" Where females are honoured, there the deities are pleased ; but 
when dishonoured, then all religious rites become useless;" "Strike 
not even with a blossom the wife guilty of a hundred faults," say 
Hindoo sages. Contrast this with the sentiments of Mohammed ; 
yet Mohammed was a good husband to Cadija when young and 
poor. 



BEGOO, A KASHMIREE NAUTCH GIKL. 



CHAPTER XV. 



KASHMIR — ACCHABUL — THE LIDDAR VALLEY. 

AT last I have left Sreenugger. The weather had become 
hottish, that is to say, 76° in the house : that is nothing, 
you will think, for India, but the thermometer is no criterion of 
the oppressiveness of heat. Sreenuggur at 76° was most oppres- 
sive, and, from the doctor's report, unhealthy. The atmosphere 
was quite thick and pea-soupy, the lovely range of mountains 
had faded from sight, and the river stank. So on Sunday after- 
noon (after church) I gladly got into my boat, and, with Major 
Henderson, the " political " here, was towed from the bungalow 
whence I had seen many wonderful effects, and the Moonshee 
Bagh, where I left many agreeable acquaintances. I don't know 
whether I shall see Sreenugger again ; possibly not ; but I am 
glad to have visited the Sun City, with its teeming, lying popula- 
tion, and its tumbledown, stinking buildings. In a short time 
the natives will have it to themselves, for the English part of the 
inhabitants will have fled to the upper valleys. Well, I do not 
grudge the wretched Kashmirees the rupees they got out of me 
by lying and cheating ; I only wish them success in a better cause 
and more self-respect. Alas ! how can they get it under the 
present reign ? Such, maybe, are my thoughts as I recline in 
Henderson's barge, which, being the biggest, is used by me as 
well as by him and his friend ; or maybe I think of England 
and friends far away, for there is much time to think, as at first 
we skim noiselessly along. I know this part of the river. By 
great bends the Jhelum manages to make very little progress in 
the direct line, and after a couple of hours' hard work you find 
yourself five minutes' ride from your bungalow. On we go, the 

229 



230 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



water pleasantly gurgling against the slanting bows of the donga. 
We talk — we think — my companions are both married, so let me 
hope they thought of their better halves — we snooze — perchance 
we dream ; until it is 5 p.m., and tea being wanted, shouts are 
raised for the boats with the babacy khanah, or cooking utensils. 
We each have one ; and quickly, one on each side, up they glide 
to supply our wants. Then on again, the river getting broader and 
more sluggish, the mountains falling back on the left bank, and a 
sort of raised plateau appearing. This is the Pampor, celebrated 
for the saffron, which is grown on the plateau before mentioned, 
and is the best saffron in the world, they say ; and, dear me ! it is 
dinner-time, so up come the boats again, and we feed and drink 
and smoke, and pass a bridge, and lo ! it is dark, and time to go 
to bed ; so I get back into my own boat and turn in, in hopes of 
sleep. Alas ! vain hope ! Kashmirees can with difficulty be re- 
strained from noise by daylight, but if they have to work by night 
they must shout. So all night long they shouted, and yelled, 
and squabbled, and the boats bumped together, or scrunched 
their rush-thatched roofs as they passed each other, and sleep, 
except at intervals (when I believe the devils left the boats alto- 
gether), was impossible. Kashmirees do not mind noise them- 
selves ; they roll themselves up in their puttu cloak, and the last 
trump would not wake them, nor would anything but a kick 
administered to a tender part of their persons. (N.B. — We all 
" cussed " in strange languages " some," that night.) 

By 6 a.m. we were up, to find th^ river narrowed considerably, 
and on we "glode," through lovely river scenery, reminding one of 
the Thames, or the Rhone, or any delightful river of our past ; 
on by many a tumbledown collection of houses, and one con- 
siderable town, Bigbehara, with a holy temple, round which were 
congregated pilgrims from the plains, bright with a refreshing 
variety of coloured garments, in happy contrast with the uni- 
versal dull mud-coloured raiment of the Kashmirees ; till the river 
narrows and narrows, and branches appear, and finally, at a bridge 
over a now quite dwindled stream, we stop, and are at Islam- 
abad. 



KASHMIR— ACCHABUL— THE LIDDAR VALLEY. 231 



At 10 a.m. we alight from our boats, and are received, as in 
duty bound, by the head man of the district, in the name of the 
Maharajah. Here we have more shouting, squabbling, and fight- 
ing, while coolies are loaded. I find, to my horror, that my 
saddle has been left behind. Henderson's vakeel kindly offers 
his " real English," as he assures me, and I am comforted ; but 
when I come to mount, and with my usual lightness place my 
fairy foot in the stirrup, out comes the lower bar. Another is 
found, however, and though much inconvenienced by the want 
of powers of expansion at the base, I finally start. It is six 
miles to Acchabul, where we are to find the Maharajah. The 
road leads through Islamabad, which is neither dirtier nor cleaner 
than other towns of its kind in Kashmir ; then it winds through 
vast paddy-fields, where the water is lying some three inches 
deep, and whence proceeds the hoarse croaking of innumerable 
frogs. Occasionally we come to a group of natives tilling their 
rice, and this is how they do it : every man and woman holds 
a long stick in each hand for support, and then has to work 
the rising rice-plant backwards and forwards with alternate foot 
in the rich slush. I should have thought they would have up- 
rooted the tender green shoots, but they have the experience of 
past ages, and probably know best.^ 

Finally, about a mile and a half from Acchabul, we come to 
our camping-ground, a pleasant rising ground close to the main 
track. It was formerly a Moslem burying-ground, little round 
stones rising here and there to show where lie defunct believ^^rs, 
who are now possibly feasting with Mohammed and others, in a 
better place than even Kashmir. Close to the road is a small 

* Alas ! the rice was never reaped : a quarrel arose between the middle- 
men and the cultivators. The former would not let the latter reap their fields, 
when finally the snow came and the crops were lost ! This last year a terrible 
famine has fallen on this fair province, whether from this cause I know not. 
The people have died by hundreds, I hear. The Government only recognized 
the danger of the situation when too late, and to introduce grain over the 
mountains was an impossibility. No English were admitted, and as the 
money spent by foreigners in a great measure supported the inhabitants of 
the country, the result was disastrous. Many have emigrated, I hear. 



232 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



shrine sacred to the memory of some extra-pious man, — at least 
I suppose so, for many travellers have I seen salaaming to it as 
they passed on their way. 

The Maharajah does not care about defunct Moslems, and does 
not suspect us of a fear of ghosts ; so here are the tents prepared 
for me, under a magnificent c/mtar, and here too Henderson 
pitches, and we are told to consider ourselves guests of the chief. 

Presently up rid^s a dandy-looking young gentleman of about 
twenty-four, with beautifully white nether garments of muslin, 
and neat little ornamented slippers, but with a military frock- 
coat on, and sword. This is Lachmansdass, Brigadier-General, 
and he comes from the Maharajah to know when we should like 
to pay our visit. We say five, and enter into a conversation with 
our friend, who, though I fear but a carpet knight, is intelligent 
and speaks English well. Nor does his dandified appearance 
belie his character. If he has not had a chance of succeeding in 
the field of Mars, in that of Venus scandal says much of his ex- 
ploits. He was even found once with a guitar under the windows 
of an English lady, who, report says, did not frown on the dusky 
warrior. (N.B. — He is decidedly good-looking.) 

At five we leave our encampment for Acchabul and the Maha- 
rajah, For about a mile our way lies between paddy-fields, then 
gently falls to a delightful valley, full of pleasant flowing waters, 
amid which, under some splendid chenars, rests the small village of 
Acchabul. Now the whole place swarms with His Highness's re- 
tainers, who have to be well shouted at and shoved about to allow 
our modest cavalcade to proceed. i^r7/§/ri', soldiers, coolies, Hindoos, 
and Moslems, — all are treated with like indifference when sahiby 
and above all the burra sahib, passes. The scene is very striking 
with this crowd : — the rushing streams, the trees, and the wind- 
ing road, with many simple bridges. At last the gate of the villa 
is reached, and we alight. Acchabul, or Achhabul (from achha, 
"good," and bul, " source" or "spring") is one of the three principal 
sources of the Jhelum ; Vernag, about ten miles farther off, being 
another, and Bawan the third. It is no dribbling little spring, as 
you may imagine. The water gushes from the rock in vast quan- 



KASHMIR— ACCHABUL-THE LIDDAR VALLEY. 233 



titles in two principal streams, which are quite rivers at their 
birth. Vernag is said to be much the same. The intelligent 
baboo who acts here as Lord Chief Justice told me that a stream 
of some size enters the mountains on the Jummo side, and is 
lost, and that here it bursts forth again. I do not know whether 
this is an ascertained fact, but anyhow the place Acchabul is a 
curious phenomenon of nature. 

Such a situation for a garden did not escape the keen eye of 
the Mogul, and Jehanghire, taking advantage of the natural supply 
of water, built a pavilion and fountains. Jehanghire's pavilion 
forms the base of the present structure, which is not much more 
than a large upper chamber over the gushing stream, with rooms 
on each side. I believe there is a dwelling-house where the Ma- 
harajah resides. Meanwhile to the "too-too" of a bugle, and past 
a very respectable "present arms" of a small company of Sepoys, 
clad in brown pzittu, we advance up the garden, and in the upper 
room are received with great cordiality by the chief of Jummo 
and Kashmir. 

Rumbir Sing is, I should say, between forty and forty-five. He 
looks stout, but all natives do, from the way they wear their 
clothes. A pleasant, kindly-looking man, who disarmed my 
wrathful feelings by at once apologizing for having kept me wait- 
ing, and explaining that he had been ill. Sittings are arranged 
for the next day : the son, who was page to Lord Lytton, is to sit 
at 8 a.m., and the father at 5 p.m. ; and so, after compliments, &c., 
the meeting ends, and we ride back to our encampment. 

I have on many occasions in this diary been very hard on the 
ruling powers of Kashmir, but I must separate the system from the 
character of the ruler. In Kashmir there is a tyranny of the worst 
kind ; and for ages the people have been ground down by their 
rulers. But everybody allows that the present Rajah is a kindly, 
well-disposed man, who has done- his best to modify the system 
he found on his accession to power. Still, when people have been 
ruled with kicks and stripes oft, it is difficult at once to do better. 
T believe the Maharajah did send away the Vizier once, and try 
more pacific measures ; but after a time things came to a stand- 



234 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



still, for people would not pay except on compulsion ; and so 
the old Vizier, with his energetic policy, was reinstated. Only 
everything is much milder, and punishments are tempered to the 
shorn Kashmiree. He is not hung for killing a cow, only im- 
prisoned for life. Apropos of cows, I hear that a great personal 
friend of the Maharajah's told a lady here that, as a personal 
favour, the chief asked him to give up eating beef, and that he 
had taken a pledge that he would. The Maharajah is most 
laborious, and holds two durbars a day, at which all petitions are 
heard. Petitions are dictated previously to the moonshee, who 
writes them out and reads them afterwards ; nor is the original 
pleader allowed a word, so you may suppose much depends on 
the moonshee. The Maharajah's great fault is his weakness of 
character — perhaps good-nature — which makes him a prey to all 
kinds of people, religious or otherwise. He is surrounded too by 
members of one family, and that in itself is apt to keep things in 
a groove. 

2>tk June. 

My sittings are now over. I have had four from the son and 
three from the father, and in these I have been expected to paint 
two elaborately-got-up chiefs. I do not think I have ever been 
so "put to" as here. It is not the bore of having to ride two 
miles backwards and forwards morning and afternoon through 
the hot sun ; but in every other place I have worked in I have 
always had a place where I could digest what I did, tickle up 
backgrounds, &c. ; here I have had nothing but travelling tents. 
The rooms I painted in had of course an indifferent light, and 
everything was against me ; but here I have no room at all. 

The little boy, entertained principally by the Chief Justice, sat 
very fairly, and I hope to make a good thing by-and-bye from his 
study. What I shall do from' the Rajah I know not ; happily I 
have a photograph. So here I have waited five weeks for three 
sittings! It is too disgusting ; but unless I choose to wait another 
fortnight I shall not get any more. What disgusts me more is 
that I have been unable to make any sketches of this part of 



p- 234 

THE CHOTA MEAN SAHIB, THIRD SON OF THE MAHARAJAH OF KASHMIR. 



KASHMIR— ACCHABUL— THE LIDDAR VALLEY. 235 



Kashmir, my painting things having been left at Acchabul, as it 
was hard to lug them backwards and forwards each day. 

Kashmir in the old day was divided into two provinces : " beau- 
tiful Kashmir," and "not so beautiful Kashmir." This part was a 
portion of the first province. I suspect the name was given by 
the conquering Mogul, who looked to the number of gold mohurs 
furnished by the province. This part is very rich, being almost 
all under rice cultivation. But the patches of water, which tell 
where the rice will be by-and-bye, are not beautiful except where 
they reflect the flush and sheen of the sunset. The mountains 
too are only respectable, and have none of the marvellous gran- 
deur of the long range of the Pir Punjal as seen from Sreenugger. 
Alas ! since it has turned warm one seldom sees the higher peaks. 
(Since writing the above we have had a beautiful clear sunset, and 
I retract. The mountains were too lovely.) 

A thunderstorm of more than usual intensity had cleared the 
atmosphere, and we started from Acchabul (which I see is the re- 
ceived way of spelling the place) at half-past six on the 8th. The 
mountains were all clear and splendid, and despite the heat of 
the sun there was a pleasant nip in the air. " We " here means 

Col. H , who has joined me here, and self. We are going to 

make a three days' trip to see Martand, a very holy place, and 
just get a peep at one of the upper valleys — the Liddar. After 
two or three miles of paddy-field, we cross a high tableland, on 
one extremity of which lies the old ruins of Martand, said to date 
from the second century B.C., and showing considerable Greek in- 
fluence, but overlaid with much rich decoration. The modern 
Martand, or Bawan, is over the edge of the plateau at another 
source of the Jhelum, which, having escaped the eye of the gar- 
den-making Jehanghire, has been turned by the pious Hindoo 
through two sacred tanks, and is now a holy shrine. The tanks 
are full of fish, a kind of tench, I should think, which it is the duty 
of the pilgrim to keep well fed with baked Indian corn. It is de- 
lightful to see the shoals of these dark green fish in the brilliant 
azure of the water. I made a sketch of the place from one corner, 
where squats each day an aged and very holy man, before whom 



236 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



the pilgrims come in flocks to prostrate themselves till their fore- 
heads touch the ground. Unlike most holy men, this one is clean, 
and is moreover a very superior person, for seeing me surrounded 
and inconvenienced by fakirs^ he sent his own servant to clear 




BAWAN 



them away. I painted him into my sketch as an acknowledgment, 
and when I had finished made my lowest salaam. The old gentle- 
man, being probably absorbed in a contemplation of the Deity, 
did not respond ; or are piety and good manners incompatible ? 

Our encampment is under some superb cheiiars, and we are 
soothed by the sound of falling waters, — in fact, it is delightful ; 
only three days more, however, and I shall be sweltering in the 
plains. 

I confess to having enjoyed Martand, despite the row of the 
devotees. All I saw pleased me : the picturesque figures of the 
fakirs, who rub themselves over with mud or ashes till they are 
quite blue ; the pilgrims, with their bright dress ; even the chant 
of the devotees, which sounds in the distance like a strange Gre- 



KASHMIR— ACCHABUL— THE LIDDAR VALLEY. 237 



gorian air ; the rush of the waters around ; everything, in fact, 
but the blowing of some terrible horns, that filled the night with 
horror, and nearly killed my companion with rage. 

I find that the devout person mentioned above is one Babadass, 
who was for some years the perohit, or father confessor to the 
Maharajah, and is thought very highly of by all the country. 

From Martand we rode a nominal eight miles, to a place called 
Eismakam, and thence fourteen miles on to Palgam, at the top 
of the Liddar Valley. The road was awfully bad, but the land- 
scape, especially the foreground, was delicious. Roses every- 
where ; not only the pale pink rose common in English hedge- 
rows, but a pure white one, and one deep crimson. Horse-chest- 
nuts were in full blossom, clematis hung in white clusters, while 
the path was lined with sweet wild thyme, cloves, wild straw- 
berries, and other delights which reminded one of home. It was 
at Eismakam we bade adieu to paddy-fields, and entered into what 
may be called the true Upper Valley. Yet do not think that all 
is roses and bliss in this happy vale. The road I have previously 
described as awful ; what epithet can I apply to the bridges ? 
Most of the streams one can ford ; some, however, were too rapid 
and deep, and across these the wretched inhabitants have thrown 
two beams, which have thin planks about 2 feet 6 inches wide 
nailed between them loosely, while the whole erection is balanced 
on piles of large stones on each end. Across several of these 
perilous bridges I rode with impunity ; but coming to a sort of 
double one, in which the second rose some 3 feet higher than the 
first, I met with a mishap. The place was no doubt a nasty one, 
and I ought to have walked. My pony evidently thought so 
too, for he hesitated in the middle of the bridge No. i. I urged 
him on, — he bungled. Over went his hind legs, after, them his 
body, and of course his rider. Well, the water was cold, and 
that was the worst, for bar the slightest barking of my shins, I 
was, wonderful to say, not the least hurt, and the pony was also 

none the worse. H , who saw us go, said it was a terrible 

spectacle, and that he thought at least a limb would be injured. 

" Truly," said my boatman, who was with me, " the reliever of 



238 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



the poor," meaning me, "must be the favoured son of Khudah!"* 
The only discomfort brought on me was a four mile walk in my 
wet clothes to keep myself from catching cold. You may be 
sure I shall be more careful for the future. 

Palgam would no doubt be a charming place under favourable 
circumstances, and, under a bright sky, picturesque ; but the rain- 
clouds rolled up the valley, and everything became miserable. 
Tents are not comfortable in rain, the splash of the wet does not 
tend to cheer one ; and, to add to my discomfort, my companion 
was really very seedy with fever, and had to go to bed the 
moment he arrived. 

On the whole, I am confirmed in my dislike of mountains. 
From a distance, with a plain leading to them, giving straight 
lines to contrast with their rugged peaks, they are delightful. I do 
not like the terrible, and the eternal pine makes the mountain- 
side here monotonous, as it does in Switzerland, only here the 
pines are finer and larger ; in fact, the far-famed deodars. I have 
seen the Upper Valley of Kashmir, and have been disappointed ! 

On the morning of the 12th, H being better, we started 

on our return journey, and sleeping again at Eismakam, arrived 
at this place (Islamabad) safely, notwithstanding a ducking we 
got in a thunderstorm. 

I am now getting ready for a journey across the Pir Punjal, which 
will land me at Gugerat, and thence I go by rail to Lahore. This 

goes by H to Sreenugger. Thirty-five miles to the nearest 

post-office ! 

* The name for the Deity. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



ACROSS THE PIR PUNJAL. 

LEAVING Islamabad on the afternoon of the 12th June, I 
began my journey to Gugerat, across the Pir Punjal. I have 
previously explained that the worthy baboo who is Chief Justice- 
man to his Highness of Kashmir, and looks after the silkworms, 
had suggested my crossing the Pir, as the Jummo route was 
stopped by the journey of one of the Maharajah's wives. The 
Prime Minister said he would make my journey what he called 
comfortable. Nevertheless, I doubted the comfort of the journey, 
and my suspicions were quickly confirmed. I trust the travelling 
wife of His Highness is ugly, or at least that she has a tongue, and 
makes it sometimes hot for him, for the discomfort I have suffered 
on his and her account has been very great. It began the very 
first stage, viz., from Islamabad to Meinpore, for after the first 
few miles the road disappeared, and I had to slosh my way 
through the paddy-fields as best I could. How the coolies with 
my luggage managed, I know not. Even on pony-back travelling 
was bad enough, as the water was often up to the girths, all the 
paddy-fields being under water, and many an artificial stream 
having to be crossed. It was well dark before my camping-ground 
was reached. At 6 a.m. the next day I started, and before night I 
had done two marches, passing through Sapion, a large town, and 
arriving at Hirpore in a downfall of rain. I lodged here in one 
of the old serais, built by the governors of Kashmir under the 
Moguls as resting-places all along this route, which was the one 
they always affected. These serais are mostly in ruins now ; but 
they contrast well even in their ruins with the mud-built bunga- 
lows of the present regime. At Hirpore there was a bungalow 

239 



240 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



built inside the old serai, but it was not waterproof, and so I 
lodged in the loft over the stables, having under me coolies and 
horses, all wet and, I need not to say, reeking. From this point, 
three marches from Sreenugger and ditto from Islamabad, really 
begins the ascent of the Pir. 

From it to Aliabad Serai the road is awful, in fact a path over 
the mountains without any care bestowed on it. The stage is 
put down in guide books as being eleven miles ; I was five hours 
and a half doing it. No doubt my figure makes it impossible 
for the Maharajah's ponies to get over really difficult ground, 
and on foot I am no longer able to bound " from rock to rock ; " 
neither did I expect to have to do so; but I must for all that, and 
feeling about as agile as a show bullock, I skip ponderously along, 
cursing the Maharajah and all his men most heartily. Sleeping at 
Aliabad Serai, I started at half-past four to cross the Pir, the pass 
over which is 11,400 feet above the sea. I should advise every- 
body who wishes to cross high mountains in summer, under a hot 
sun, to start as I did at daybreak, so as to get over before the sun 
melts the snow. After four miks steady uphill, but over a kind 
of down, with ever-more frequent indications of snow in the lower 
dips, at last we came to real snow, which stretched in one sheet for 
about a koss, or two miles. Owing to the stupidity of my coolie, 
I did not strike the regular path, so had to wade about a quarter 
of a mile through the snow. Riding was impossible, as you may 
imagine, for at every pace the poor devil of a pony sank to above 
his knees, neither was walking a pleasant operation. Even in 
the regular road the snow and the slush were terrible, for along it 
there is much traffic by ponies, goats, and sheep. On I struggled, 
slipping and cursing (the Maharajah, of course), till at last a kind 
of guard-house was reached, and the snow ended. Not so my 
trouble, however, for the downward road was much more difficult 
than the ascent. From the guard-house there is a beautiful view 
of range after range of lower hills, till at last the land gets lost 
in the sky in one delicate tone of lilac. Neither is foreground 
wanted for a sketch, for there are crowds of all sorts of picturesque 
folk, — Bringalees, Googurs (salt-carriers and herdsmen), with in- 



ACROSS THE PIR PUNJAL. 



241 



numerable goats and ponies, all resting after their climb ; but I 
had no time to stay,' as I had what the Yankees would call a 
" tough " day's march before me. So after a drink of water, 
downwards I plunged again on foot, for riding was impossible. 

On the top of the Pir there lived, in Bernier's time, a hermit, 
who " asked alms somewhat fiercely, suffered us to take up water 
in earthen cups he had ranged on a great stone, made signs with 
his hand importing that we should speedily march away, and 
grumbled at those who made a noise, because (as he said to me 
when I came into his cave and had a little sweetened his looks 
with half a roupee, which with much humility I put into his hand) 
a noise raiseth furious storms and tempests. 'Aurungzebe did 
well in following my counsel, and not permitting to make any 
noise ; Schah Jehan always took care of the same ; but Jehan 
Gwire once mocking at it, and causing trumpets and cymbals to 
sound, was like to have perished here.' " 

The stone bench is still here, and the earthen vessels, though 
the Mogul and his splendour have disappeared. I heard some- 
thing of the danger of avalanches, and the necessity of silence. 
I suspect these were the storms and tempests of the hermit. 

From here the road (the name is a hollow mockery) is six miles, 
— six miles all downhill, sometimes over great boulders, some- 
times over the bed of a stream, across which the snow had made a 
bridge (or rather the stream had made a tunnel through the snow). 
Climbing, jumping, and " cussing," we toiled along, then another 
ascent of two miles, and we were at Poshiana ; and my legs ached, 
I can tell you, for eight miles of such walking I had not done for 
some time. 

As I have said before, the Great Mogul usually chose this route 
into his favourite kingdom of Kashmir. I suspect the road was 
kept in better repair in his day, but even then there was con- 
siderable danger from all kinds of accidents. Bernier once made 
the journey in his august company, and speaking of this descent 
that I have just made, says : " On the day that the King went 
upon the mountain of Pirepenjale, which is the highest of all, and 
whence one begins to discover afar off the country of Kashmir, 

16 



242 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



on that day, I say, that the King descended this mountain, being 
followed by a long row of elephants, upon which sat the women 
in mikdeenbars, one of these elephants was frighted by beholding, 
as the Indians would have it, such a long and steep ascent, and 
fell back upon him that was next, and he on the next, and so on 
to the fifteenth, so that not one of them being able to turn in this 
way, which was extremely rude and steep, they all tumbled into 
the precipice. It was good fortune for those poor women that the 
precipice itself was not very steep, so there were not more than 
three or four of them killed, but the fifteen elephants remained 
in the place. When these bulky masses do once fall, with the 
vast burdens they are loaded with, they never rise again, though 
the way be ever so fair. We saw them two days after, in passing 
by, and I observed some of them yet stirring the trunk." 

Elephants do not often go into Kashmir, happily, but I saw 
many carcases of other animals on this route, some of which were 
dead and partially eaten, but some still alive. These were generally 
covered with branches, but I doubt whether they were ever got 
from the place where they had fallen from fatigue. 

Two hours' rest was all I could allow myself at Poshiana, as 
there was no bungalow, but only a cattle-shed, and I had to push 
on for Baramgulla. So I swallowed my breakfast and sent on my 
traps as soon as I could. For this second march I was promised 
a better road. Alas ! the Kashmiree idea of a good road is rather 
vague ! It was most beautiful, and would have been delightful, 
had I had eyes to see it. My eyes had to look to where my horse 
was going, for my road was the bed of a torrent, which I crossed 
and recrossed at least thirty times. It was awfully hot, too, and 
when I arrived at Baramgulla I was pretty nearly baked. It was 
then 4 p.m., so that, deducting my two hours at Poshiana, I had 
been ten hours en routey and I had done something over twenty 
miles the while, which is not fast travelling. To-day I decided 
to go only one stage, and shall keep to my decision till I get to 
Bhimbur, for marching in the sun is more than I can stand. 

We have just crossed a lower branch of the Pir, called the 
Ruttum Pir, eight thousand odd feet high, and we had six miles 



ACROSS THE PIR PUNJAL. 



243 



Up and six miles down again. I had to foot it most of the way, 
and, starting at 6.45, came in for a good deal of sun, as I only 
arrived at a quarter to eleven. However, there is no other stage 
to be done, so 1 employ my time writing up my journal. 

I find that the Dewan's^ or Minister's, idea of making my journey 
comfortable was to furnish me with a chuprasseey whom I must 
pay, and a pony which I have to feed and shoe at my own ex- 
pense. PerwaitnaSy which cost nothing, were readily supplied ; but 
all the expense of coolies, &c., I have had to bear, the perwannas 
stipulating that I was to have what I liked on payment. Truly 
the Maharajah has a Grand Seigneur way of doing things ! 

It is curious to watch the different zones of vegetable life from 
the top of the Pir where nothing grows, through the belt of 
birch-trees which hang on many a mountain-side, scarred and 
stripped by avalanche, to that of the more solid pine; thence to a 
region of delightful flowers, roses climbing to the top of tall trees, 
clematis, strawberry (now getting ripe), and many old favourites 
and friends. Then you come lower, to pomegranate and peach 
and pear. To-day's march has brought me to cactus and palm, 
in fact, to the heat of the plain, at Naoshira (not the Punjab Nao- 
shira). I shall do my marching now at night, to avoid the heat. 
I started at 2 a.m. last night, to-night I go at seven ; to-morrow 
I reach Bhimbur, I hope, and get to good roads and trains. 

It has been a great grind, that 's the fact, on account of the 
heat of the sun. Still, there has been some pleasure of an artistic 
kind: sometimes some red-tailed bird would flit across one's 
path, or a blue creature of the kingfisher tribe would skim along 
the torrent, and give one an artistic shock in the midst of one's 
troubles. At one place, Thanna Mandi, there came a wandering 
poet or bard, who entertained me the whole afternoon with Kash- 
miree songs, some of which I copied, and will get translated. He 
was a filthy object, the dirtiest of the dirty; but he had the soul 
of a poet, and as he played his poor four-stringed instrument, he 
threw his head on one side, and bent over his guitar, much as 
first-rate performers do at home. He was grateful too, for when 
I left at 5 a.m., I found him waiting, and he played to me along 

16—2 



244 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



a couple of miles of road, with his dirty legs keeping time to the 
twang of his music, and his nose well in the air ; neither would 
he leave until I gave hookham or permission. 

My good friend Major Henderson has sent me translations of 
two of this poet's songs. One appears to be well known as the 
love-song of Mohammed Gami, a Kashmir poet. 

" Like a flower-bearing plant I have become withered, 

Even I, for thy love, O Bee ; 

I will wail like the nightingale, 
' Where shall I seek thee, O Lily ?' 

Deal gently with me, come to my feast ; 

I will encircle thee with my arms, O Bee ! 

What said I to thee that vexed thy heart with me ? 

By God, I adjure thee, tell me what is in thy heart. 

O dear friend, where didst thou flee from me ? 

Forsaking me, Sundar,* O Bee ! " 

I should like to have imported my poet as he appeared to me 
in his rags and filth ; yet is his love-song much like such as are 
sung in the drawing-rooms of Belgravia. The second song is 
another love-song, and the name of the poet is not known. 

" Go, O bosom friend, bring me my lover, gently, gently. 
In anger he left me, sore and vexed : what offence could I have caused him? 
What is to me adornment of the person, antimony for the eyes, or any other 
embellishment ? 

For wealth and pearls what care I ? or the bells attached to my skirt ? 

O friend, sit with me in the shade of a wide- spreading chenar I 

Let not the calumny of an enemy affect thee. I am helpless. 

For my beauteous and graceful lover a divan and couch I will prepare. 

If he is not pleased with me, for whom shall I prepare them.^ 

See what happened to Shuk Sanda for the sake of the Hindoo maiden ! 

He wore the sacred thread, he cherished swine with his own hands ! " 

The poet was a Moslem, so this devotion was equivalent to 
changing his religion. 

At Naoshira, where, as usual, I was spending the afternoon on 
the flat of my back, with a coolie to fan me, it suddenly occurred 
to me that I had not made my will, and that it was everybody's 
duty to make a will ; so, being in an ill humour, I set to work. 

* Sundar, the name of a songstress, also means " the beautiful one." 



ACROSS THE PIR PUNJAL. 



245 



I cannot say how it amused me while I was doing it, and what 
a feeling of satisfaction I enjoy now I have done ! To think 
of one's goods and chattels, and one's familiar chez soiy on the 
Fir Punjal route, made one quite happy. Well, it is all over 
now, and I am at Bhimbur. The last two marches I have done 
by night, " by sweet Dian's beams ; " and as I ascended the 
Anutak range, the last wave of hill that beats round the foot 
of the mighty mountains, I saw in the distant gloaming a blue 
streak, the Pir Punjal itself, which I have had so much worry 
to cross, and shall probably never see again. Well, thousands 
of men and women go over every year. It is nothing of a feat ; 
only, if the Maharajah wishes to do honour to a stout middle- 
aged gentleman, he should not send him that way in the latter 
part of June. Here at Bhimbur it is very hot — a foretaste of 
what I shall find at Lahore. There is a hot wind, moreover, 
like the blast one feels on opening the door of a Turkish bath. 
Of course, there are none of the conveniences I shall find at the 
capital of the Punjab — no punkahs, or therm-antidotes, or chics; 
so that even if Lahore is hotter, it will be more tolerable. I do 
not propose stopping there, however ; but shall go to the cool of 
Simla as soon as I can. 

From Bhimbur I took the mail-cart, and, leaving at seven 
o'clock, arrived at Gugerat in time to catch the evening train for 
Lahore. Oh ! the joy of progressing, even at the rate of eight 
miles an hour ! The vehicle is a kind of tonga, a machine on 
two wheels drawn by a pair of horses, one in the shafts, and the 
other harnessed outside. The road is detestable, being cucha, 
that is, unmade ; the coachman shows his contempt of civiliza- 
tion by preferring the ploughed fields to the regular track ; and 
the springs are weak, or seem to be so, on my side. One of our 
passengers is a small bear brought from Sreenugger, who is wild 
with excitement and terror at his first ride in a carriage, and 
occasionally stampedes over the back hair and turban of my 
servant on to my back. Yet I must say that the sense of motion 
was most enjoyable. On we dashed, thump and bang ! till, pass- 
ing through the sleeping streets of Gugerat — literally sleeping, for 



246 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



all the inhabitants were laid out in charpoys in the open thorough- 
fare — we at last arrived at Gugerat Station. 

"Sir," says the station-master, a baboo , "why does your servant 
beat our coolies ? " 

I find my irascible Noor Khan has assaulted the porter, whose 
friendly endeavours to put labels on the luggage he interprets 
into a design to examine the contents. To further get rid of his 
temper, sorely tried by the long journey in the back seat of a 
tonga, holding a bear, he proceeds to thrash half a dozen coolies. 
With the Fuller case before me, I am stern, and give him a tre- 
mendous rowing. This appeases the baboo. I take my tickets, — 
one first, two third, and a ticket for a bean 

"A what?" 

"A bear." 

" Don't know what that is. Can I see him ? " 
" Of course." 

" Oh, a 'beer'!" cries the baboo, on seeing my tormentor. "One 
rupee eight annas." 

So they speak English here. 

The bear was a great source of anxiety to me in my carriage, 
but finally both arrived safely at Lahore, where happily we parted. 
I gave him away ! But he had previously filled the catalogue of 
his crimes by biting me through the hand. 

Here I am again in the most comfortable of houses, with every- 
thing a weary traveller could d^sir q— punkahs, therm-antidotes, 
ice, and, above all, kindly welcome from my good friends the 
Plowdens. The thermometer is 92° in the house, notwithstanding 
all the resources of science. Outside I tremble to think what it is ; 
yet people say it is unusually cool, and I must say that I do not 
find it so intolerable as I fancied I should. After all, the flesh- 
pots of Egypt, the society of people one likes, and a healthy 
state of body, would make even the burning fiery furnace tole- 
rable. By-the-bye, the famous Three had at least the pleasure 
of society. Had there been only one, I fancy he would have 
given in. 

I must have a turn at the Nawab of Bhawalpore's dress this 



ACROSS THE PIR PUNJAL. 



247 



morning, though I confess I do not like painting in the tempera- 
ture of 90°. However, to-morrow I leave for Simla, and the cool. 
I am rather glad I have felt Lahore in this hot weather, as I am 
glad I crossed the Pir, and have had the measles, &c. One looks 
back with pleasure to these things in after years, no doubt. 

I found the Nawab of Bhawalpore, who has settled at Lahore, 
there to complete his education ; so I had another sitting, to get 
the colour of his dress. Oh! these dresses, they are too irritating. 
This one is all kincaub, with a collar and large sort of shoulder- 
straps of purple velvet, embroidered all over with gold and pearls. 
With the thermometer at 90°, at six in the morning, with the 
window shut, a punkah going, no light, and a most minute bit 
of work, my nerves got so upset that I fear I did no good. The 
experience was, however, useful, for it shows me that working 
down in the plains during the hot weather is impossible ; not 
from the heat — though Heaven knows that is bad enough — but 
from the want of light in all rooms. There is a good photograph 
of Bhawalpore, so with what I have done I hope to get along. 

On the evening of 26th June, by 7 p.m. train, I left Lahore, 
where I had received most hospitable entertainment, where I left 
many friends, and the thermometer at 96°, despite the punkah^ &c. 
We had reserved beforehand a good saloon carriage, in which 
there is a contrivance by which, when the train is in motion, a 
stream of air is passed through tatties'^ into the carriage. By lying 
with your head close in to this apparatus, you feel tolerably com- 
fortable for a time. But the train stops, the tatties do not work, 
and you are straightway in hell fire. I never felt so hot in my life. 
Still, there was enough of the freshness of the hills in my veins to 
enable me to stand the heat better than my brother and another 
man who was with me ; and, with plenty of iced soda, we arrived 
safely, in the cool (?) of the morning, at Umballa, where carriages 
were waiting to take us on to Kalka, at which place you change 
your vehicle for the tonga of the hills. From Umballa to Kalka the 

* Tatties are screens made of cushcush grass, which are kept wet and placed 
at open windows. Should there be a breeze, however hot, on passing through 
the cushcush tatty the draught becomes delightfully cool. 



2/s8 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



road is flat enough ; but long before the forty miles are over you 
come to low hills, and on arriving at Kalka, find yourself well at 
the foot of the Himalaya. Thence to Simla is fifty-six miles, 
almost all uphill. The road has not long been opened, and seems 
to me to be an admirable bit of ingenious engineering. It 
ascends all the way gradually, until you find yourself winding 
along the top of high mountains and the road stretches before 
you for miles like a dusty thread on their tawny green sides. 
An eight-hours' drive in a two-wheel conveyance is trying to 
long legs and bulky figure, however good the road may be. You 
feel the jogging just where the waist ought to be, and in the 
knees ; and when at last you see Simla, with its houses and 
hideous church, in the distance, you feel inclined to offer up a 
prayer to Mercury, who was, I believe, the God of Travellers, to 
help you over the last six miles. 



CHAPTER XVII. 



SIMLA. 

HOW can I describe Simla itself? It lies along the top of a 
high hill, varying from 6,000 to 8,000 feet. In the centre 
of a sort of saddle is the town, with its busy bazaar, filth, and 
noise ; on each side for miles are innumerable bungalows, nestled 
into the hill-side wherever there is any room to build ; while over 
them and round them grow deodars and rhododendrons without 
number. Here and there yet lingers a blossom, the last rose of 
summer, to show what a glory the full bloom of these rhododen- 
drons must be ; for they are no mean bushes, but trees rising 
fifty or sixty feet, and the sight a month ago must have been 
splendid indeed. 

Carriages are not admitted into Simla, and you must progress 
by the means provided by nature, by pony, or by jampon. The 
first two are preferred by the males, the latter by females. Through 
the length of Simla runs the Mall. This may almost be called a 
road ; all other ways are but narrow tracks, and go up and down 
from the houses without railing or barrier to protect the passer-by 
from going over the " cud." At night this is dangerous enough. 

The day after my arrival I went to a ball at Peterhoff, the 
viceregal lodge, to see the beauty and fashion. I came to the 
conclusion that there are a great many captains. I forget what 
jealous husband it was who said he was glad of the Crimean 
War. " For now," said he, " there will be fewer captains." By 
" captains " he and I mean people on leave with nothing to do. 
This place is full of such people, who have a difficulty in passing 
the day. Of course the devil is busy, and provides mischief. Sad 
tales are told of the place, no doubt ; but like all such tales, there 
is a great element of exaggeration therein. Of course people 
gamble, and — do what they ought not. They do that every- 



250 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



where. The play is very high, the whist execrable, and I hope 
the money lost is paid. Rupees stand for shillings, gold mohurs 
(sixteen rupees) for sovereigns. Well, I suppose this is the blood- 
letting necessary, after the heat of the plain and the monotony 
of regimental duty, — excitement provided by kind Nature to 
restore the equilibrium of the system. 

Meanwhile I have determined to stay here some time. I have 
never really designed my picture, and shall do it as well as I can 
hen?. I shall put my sketches of rajahs in order, and generally 
digest my last six months' work : to do this at my ease, I have 
liad to take a house at a considerable expense. 

The rains have set in here ; the clouds come rolling up the 
hill in the most mysterious way, gathering far down in the valley 
in small masses, and gaining strength as they reach the peaks. 
Thick mists are common enough, but ever and anon the sun 
breaks through cloud and mist, lighting up with fantastic gleams 
alike mountain and cloud, and producing magical effects, such 
as no artist has yet dreamed of In my little nest of a house 
(Cranagh is its name) I shall have plenty of opportunity to watch 
such effects, and shall try and record them to the best of my 
power. I feel certain that my artistic friends in England (ex- 
cepting one or two) will think them the productions of a heated 
imagination, the result of the fleshpots and champagne of Simla. 

\6th July. 

The rains had gone off in a most unexampled manner, and 
for the last week we have enjoyed fine weather ; yet people com- 
plain and find fault. Yesterday and again to-day the clouds 
rolled up the hill and heavy rain set in, so I hope the grumblers 
are satisfied. One must get used to it. The weather-wise say 
that it will last more or less for two months ; and last year it 
rained twelve days, day and night, without once clearing up. It 
is pouring down now. The steady drip is most distressingly 
monotonous, and as there is much thunder in the air, and the 
booming and rolling among the mountains goes on pretty well 
all day, it cannot be said to be a bracing climate. However, any- 



SIMLA. 



251 



thing is better than the heat of the plains now. At Lahore, 
where I left it 96° I hear they had 106° two days after. Phew ! 
the very idea makes me moist. 

The gaieties of Simla go on just the same wet or dry. Kink- 
ing is greatly on the increase, being the only exercise many men 
and all ladies can take. I have not yet put on the skates, but 
look on and talk, as it is the general rendezvous in the afternoon 
after 6 p.m. It is a funny sight, — young and old all hard at 
work ; now a tiny mite raised high upon her skates, and now a 
portly dame with most serious countenance, supported in her 
feeble efforts by aides-de-camp or secretaries. There is a great 
crowd and constant collisions occur, and it is not an uncommon 
thing to see a young lady throw her arms wildly round a stranger's 
neck to support herself. Yet it is exercise, and brings people 
together. 

I do not feel that my ideas are brightening in this climate. I 
feel constantly sleepy, and not energetic. However, work must 
be done, and I am getting new conceptions arranged as well as I 
can. I shall begin Nabha or the Viceroy this week ; possibly both. 
My general design creeps on too. I am hesitating about giving 
way to my imagination entirely.* I suppose people will not 
quite stand an entire subversion of facts. It is an awfully tough 
job I have to do. 

This is a story told me by one who was at Jodhpore at the 
time. The old Rajah of Jodhpore, Tukt Sing, was of a most 
amorous complexion. It is the habit in the Zenana for the 
Rajah to hold a durbar each day at midday, and he then decides 
which of his ladies is to attend on him and give him his food 
for the next twenty-four hours. Now, Tukt Sing's favourite wife 
was the mother of his second son, Zuroor Sing, and she was so 
often selected that the jealousy of the others was excited. One 

* My picture will not be in the least like the real Assemblage. I have 
made up my mind to give up the truth of general aspect altogether, merely 
keeping the portraits of the chiefs and rajahs, and the order and general 
arrangement. Thus I hope to make a better work of art by doing a picture 
not of the Assemblage of Delhi, but commemorative of the Assemblage. The 
picture is progressing. — (Nov. 1878.) 



252 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



day the amorous Tukt determined to take his Ranee out tiger- 
shooting with him. They were to watch for a tiger who was 
known to be in the neighbourhood, and who had been fed there 
some days. A young buffalo is tied up, and the sportsman takes 
his stand on a platform built into a tree, and there spends the 
night. Now, Tukt not only took his Ranee into his tree, but 
a brandy-bottle with her ; indeed, if report speaks true, it is 
questionable which he preferred, the flesh or the spirit. So they 
enjoydd themselves, and became inebriated, and slept ; but when 
the Rajah woke, the favourite was not there, and was never seen 
again. The tiger had taken her, they said. If he had, he must 
have been a very hungry one, as he ate her, bones, clothes, 
bangles, and all, for none of these things were ever found. He 
was a funny fellow, this old Tukt, and was thought to be very 
extravagant. When he was dying he pointed to his treasury, 
and said he had 80 lacs of treasure and jewels there ; but when 
it was opened there was little more than one lac, and it was 
always supposed that his favourite, another and not his wife, had 
helped herself during his last illness. 

I have just come back from doing my first rajah here, viz., 
Nabha. Rajah Hira Sing Bahadur is a very handsome fellow of, 
I suppose, forty* odd years old, with a fine curly moustache and 
beard. His turban is superb, and altogether painting him is a 
pleasant job. He is a Sikh, very different from some of the 
effete-looking Hindoos I have had to do. He has a fine bass 
voice and a kindly smile ; moreover he treats one like a gentle- 
man ; but, then, he is not of the highest. 

Nabha, Jheend, and Puttiala are small Sikh states, which were 
in the way of being snapped up by that devourer of small states, 
Runjeet Sing. We, however, interfered, and saved them. Unlike 
most natives, these chiefs were true to us to the backbone, and it 
was mainly owing to them that we were not turned out of India. 
They kept communication open between Lahore and Delhi, 
during the siege of the latter place, and so enabled us to devote 
the whole of our strength to taking that centre of revolt. 

* The Rajah, I find, is only thirty-four. Rajahs age very quickly, I fear. 




p- -52 



H.H. HIKA SING BAHADUR, RAJAH OF NABHA. 



( 



SIMLA, 



253 



Nabha has a bungalow here, furnished with many a glass 
lamp and globe of every colour. He, like most of the small 
maharajahs, is treated with much more respect outwardly than 
the bigwigs. " Omer-wa-Doulat Maharajah Sahib!" announces 
his entry, his rising and his sitting, whereas Sindia toddles about 
without ceremony, and even Oodeypore comes and goes without 
fuss. You see, rajahs are not different from other swells ; the 
smaller the swell the greater airs he gives himself. 

Let me record an extraordinary fact — it is a fine day to-day. 
The old stagers are aghast. The seasons have been turned 
" upside down." The rains will not come down, and the whole 
country will starve. So say the croakers ; I take a more cheerful 
view of the matter, and thank Heaven that the wind (and rain) 
is tempered for the shorn lamb. It is wonderful, on the whole, 
how very lucky I am wherever I go. This has been the coolest 
season for many a long year. 

I am very much amused at the English habits joyfully re- 
sumed by the visitors to Simla. Down in the plains they say 
that you always know the "Griff," or new arrival, by his morning 
salutation of " Fine day." It is always fine in India, except in 
the rainy reason. In Simla, however, the weather is the prin- 
cipal topic of conversation and anxiety, for the rain occupies 
every one's thoughts. No wonder! the health of Simla depends 
on it, to say nothing of the lives of millions down in the plains, 
where famine threatens unless the god Indra prove propitious. 
In Simla itself water is very scarce and bad. When there is 
rain, a torrent forms in what is in fine weather a dry gully in 
the centre of the town. This torrent quickly runs itself out, the 
springs dry up, and the wretched bheesties, or water-carriers, 
have to bring water from miles off. This they will not do ex- 
cept when forced by the sahib. For their own drinking they pre- 
fer any water, however impure, which is at hand, to the purest 
springs of Mahassu. You see the lazy brutes, fifty at a time, 
sitting round the dry bed of the torrent aforesaid, and waiting 
patiently their turns, while three or four are employed digging 
with their hands holes in the bed of the stream, v/here, after a 



254 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



time, a thick muddy tea-cup full of filth percolates, which is 
carefully put into the skins carried by these bheesties. It takes 
hours to fill a skin ; but what is time to the Hindoo ? 

July. 

My journal seems to get more meagre every mail. There are 
no religious festivals, no gorgeous processions to record ; nothing 
more than the usual routine of an artist's life, varied by dinners 
and balls, much as it might be in London and Paris. More 
rajahs have not yet arrived, and I am still trifling with his High- 
ness of Nabha, and occupying my leisure with painting Lady 
Lytton, who will take a prominent position in the picture. 

It is now eight months since I painted a white face, so that it 
comes rather strange. 

Meanwhile the rains have not really set in ; we have an occa- 
sional outburst, and then it stops. The old and weather-wise are 
beginning to despair. If the monsoon does not really break 
soon, we shall have famine all over the place, which, with an im- 
poverished exchequer and a war in the distance, is not a bright 
look-out for the future. 

I have been very lazy personally since I have been here. I 
have seen none of the views, and called on none of the swells. 
A quiet, tranquil existence, with work, is a change for me. I 
hope that, after the excitement of travel, this very quiet will not 
cause my liver to give trouble. It is the being stuck down in one 
place, without change, that brings on most of the enlarged livers 
for which Anglo-Indians are proverbial. At present mine is much 
as usual ; indeed, except that I do not think Simla bracing, I 
am as well as ever I was. I am, however, much thinner, being 
a stone and a half lighter than when in England. 

I hear a rumour that there is to be a durbar oi hill rajahs next 
month, which will be a very picturesque sight. Amongst them 
will be Sirmor, about whom we know something, only I fancy 
from what I hear that my old father rather exaggerated the size 
of his state in his ballad. Still, I shall try and make a sketch 
of one who bears so well-known a name. He is but a small 



SIMLA. 



255 



fellow, and but that he has been already immortalized by one 
of the family, I should hardly desire to paint him in a picture 
where only swells are to be seen.* 

Other swells are announced for the Council of the Empire, 
though what they are to do or say at the said Council has pro- 
bably yet to be settled. The rajahs think that it is to get money 
out of them. Most of them have vast funds locked up, which 
might profitably be lent to the Paramount Power ; but then the 
rajah could not feel it, touch it, and see it when he liked, and 
would think himself a poorer man. They like to have a thing, 
like a child, for their very own, and if they lent it, it would not 
be quite the same thing. The late Rana of Oodeypore was 
thought to be so badly off, in consequence of the depredations 
committed in his state by Marathas and others during the pre- 
ceding reign, that his yearly tribute was remitted on his accession ; 
yet he owned to the political agent that his predecessor had left 
him £6of^QQ hid away; and so even the poorest rajah has secret 
stores, the place of concealment being known to none but the 
rajah and one other man. At Dholepore there is believed to 
be such a treasure hidden, the site of which is known only by 
the Minister of the late Rajah, who refuses to part with the 
secret. He is kept in confinement, I think at Benares, but has 
offered ^10,000 for his liberty. Yet Dholepore is but a very 
small state. 

2(^th Jtily. 

Not much to record again this week. I have been busy every 
day painting Lady Lytton and her eldest girl, who will also 
figure in my picture. The Viceroy I have not begun ; his robes 
have not yet arrived from Calcutta, and what is a Viceroy with- 
out his robes ? 

Till last night the rains have kept off. People say the crops 
are lost in a great part of India, and that famines are imminent. 
Last night and again to-day the rain has set in, and although 
personally very inconvenient for me, I cannot but hope that it 
* See Appendix. I never got to Sirmor. 



256 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



may continue. One blank cloud envelopes the whole hill, and 
the drip and splash of the water last all day. It is not so dark 
as I expected, and will not stop work. 

No fresh rajahs have arrived, nor do I expect they will be fools 
enough to come up while the rain lasts ; only this being altogether 
an abnormal year, one cannot tell how long anything will last. 

And so I have nothing to record. One hears tales of rajahs 
from the officials here, which give one an idea of the kind of folk 
they really are. Take this : Gholab Sing was the father of the 
present Rajah of Kashmir, who thinks that his parent is a fish. 
Gholab, talking to an English friend, was boasting of his good- 
ness. " But," said the Englishman, " you 're so cruel ; you flay 
people alive." 

" Now, what a shame to say so ! " cried the Rajah. " I never 
flayed but one person, and he was a man I really had an affection 
for. He constantly rebelled against me, and I as constantly 
forgave him ; but at last I told him, * If you rebel again, I will 
flay you alive.' Well, he did rebel, and I caught him ; and what 
could I do ? I was bound to keep my word, wasn't I ? But even 
then I liked the man so much that I gave orders he should be 
only half-flayed. The poor fellow died, however, and I was very 
sorry for him ! " 

This of the Kashgar Envoy I do not think I have recorded. 
Passing through Lahore, he was asked to dine with the Lieutenant- 
Governor. During dinner he drank sixteen bottles of soda-water. 
You may imagine that he was watched with extreme interest by 
both Governor and staff, for if he exploded, adieu to our good 
relations with Kashgar. When he called for his seventeenth 
bottle the excitement grew intense ; but the Envoy rose solemnly, 
and squatting down, had No. 17 poured over his hands. 

Maharajah Nabha, who is still here, went to see a burlesque 
of " Robert Macaire" got up by the amateurs of Simla. In this 
there is a song sung by Robert Macaire : 

" When my wife, against my will, 
Goes out, I never stops her ; 
But when she 's gone a little way, 
I calls her back and ' whops ' her." 



SIMLA. 



257 



Nabha asked the Foreign Secretary to tell him what the song 
meant, so Thornton translated, as well as he could, the above 
silly words. " We do not do that," said Nabha, gravely ; " we 
shouldn't let our wives go out at all." He probably thinks that 
the above song is a picture of an English gentleman's behaviour, 
and that Lord Lytton continually " whops " his lady. 

^th August, 

Another week has passed, with the usual monotony of work 
and play. I am getting on with Lady Lytton's picture, and have 
begun the Viceroy. As far as his head goes he will be easy 
enough to do, for that is decidedly good ; but his drapery is most 
voluminous, and being of blue velvet with a thick ermine tippet, 
it is apt to make the Grand-Master of the Star of India look like 
a bundle of clothes. 

I regret to say that the first conversation I have had with 
Lord Lytton has been a very disagreeable one for me, for in it 
he informed me that reasons of state would necessitate his being 
seated in my picture, especially as I found it necessary to depict 
him without his hat. Now, I have always had my doubts about 
his standing while the rajahs were all seated ; but, as he did it 
at the Grand Assembly, I thought I might do it in my picture. 
Then, again, for state purposes, I shall have to paint the great 
officers sitting by their chiefs. This will give me no end of a l(?t 
more work, but that no one seems to consider. 

On Wednesday I had my last sitting of Nabha, and in th6 
afternoon of Thursday went to bid him adieu. He was most 
polite, and set me on his throne of state, while he occupied a 
lowly chair by my side. He was not born in the purple, and 
was once only the head of a village, till called to the guddee by 
the death of his cousin. This accounts for his modesty and a 
certain manliness not found in porphyrogenitous rajahs. 

The Commander-in-Chief was expected ; the dewan, the only 
English-speaking member of his Highness's Court, had gone to 
meet him, so our conversation was necessarily very limited. 
Gifts in many trays were brought to me, but in the middle of 

17 



258 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



the ceremony the approach of the " Chief" was announced. The 
trays were whisked away to serve again for his Excellency ; and, 
hastily be-attared and be-panned, I was bowed out, to make way 
for the " Gingi Lord Sahib." I met him and his suite coming 
down the roadway that zigzags down from the mall — the cud — 
and had a laugh with him about my being kicked out in his 
favour. 

On coming home yesterday from reading the papers (in which, 
by-the-bye, there seems but little news), I found the vakeel of 
Maharajah Nabha waiting with a letter and a bag. The letter 
said, " His Highness herewith sends five hundred rupees as a 
present. Kindly accept," &c., signed by his Highness's Foreign 
Minister. This is the first present made me by a Rajah. I own 
at first I felt inclined to send it back ; but then why should I } 
Was it intended for a civility, or was it intended that I should 
return it t Anyhow, I kept it : not being in the Civil Service, I 
shall not send it to the State Treasury ; only I wish the present 
had been in something else, and not hard rupees. 

This last week I have sent away my servant, Noor Khan, 
whom I have mentioned during my journey. He was a most 
energetic man, but frightfully jealous. He was always accusing 
the other servants of all sorts of crimes. Two or three times he 
had been guilty of most unaccountable explosions of violence ; 
and once, as I have recorded in my journal, during my journey 
from Jodhpore to Oodeypore, he had got me into a mess by 
absenting himself for thirty-six hours. I find this is all owing 
to smoking opium. 

Since I have been here he has had less to do, and more time 
to smoke ; so he finally got himself- into a state of excitement 
bordering on madness. He declared that the servants all accused 
him of robbing me, and that the people of the bazaar pointed 
their fingers at him, and said, " There goes the man who stole 
eight hundred rupees." He finally said he could not stand it any 
more : " I want a little to hang myself" And then I said, " Go." 

Then the next day he repented, came and embraced my knees, 
and wept. 



SIMLA. 



259 



" I look on master as my God," he sobbed. " Other master I 
no leave till they went away from India. When I go home my 
friends say, ' Master left ? ' * No.' ^ Then master dead ? ' ' Master 
no dead.' Then they say, ^ Master no dead, then you dam bad 
fellow ! ' " 

I believe he had made a lot of money out of me — whether 
honestly or not I do not know ; but anyhow he handed me 300 
rupees, to be sent to a doctor in Bombay, who recommended him 
to me. I did not yield to his tears, and he has left. 

These English-speaking bearers are great rogues, as a rule. 
The servants generally are much like the gondoHers and Italian 
servants ; they exact "black mail" from all your tradesmen, under 
the name of destoree, or custom. One anna in the rupee is what 
they get, that is one-sixteenth, which is no bad percentage. Their 
English is very funny ; I never heard any of them speak of a 
beating except as a "dam licking," and "so dam bad fellow," 
and so on, using the oath as a strengthening adjective. These 
servants have generally been brought up in regiments, where they 
learn the language, and, I fear, some of the vices of their masters. 
I need not say that I have never touched one of my servants ; 
but I see many others do, and that it seems the habit, principally 
in the cavalry regiments, to use the stick freely. As excuse, I 
am told the servants of officers are of the worst class. Perhaps 
it acts both ways. 

I may here state that while travelling in the native states, I 
have always found the person in authority very lavish with the 
stick. Maharajahs' coachmen freely use their whip, and many a 
bare black back have I seen writhing under a well-delivered blow. 
I have heard the coachman, if his whip was too short to reach 
the too active offender, commission the syce to perform the cas- 
tigation, which he invariably did with a rope he carried to repair 
harness if necessary. I am told too that native officers are great 
users of the cane. Of course these are no precedents for us, who 
should set a better example. During the whole time I was in 
India I never heard of a civilian, or a man in any authority, using 
violence to a native, and I must bear evidence to the extreme 

17—2 



26o 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



forbearance displayed by such officers under trying circum- 
stances ; for when the native is stupid, his stupidity is peculiarly 
aggravating. 

\^th August, 

Another week has passed, in which I have been occupied in 
painting Lord Lytton and staff. I am much pressed for time, 
for the head-quarters leave on Thursday for Madras, to look after 
the famine. Old Indians are notorious croakers, and they all 
croak in chorus over the danger incurred by his Excellency in 
leaving the temperate climate of Simla for the heat of lower 
India. I myself suspect that the danger is very small, though of 
course the inconvenience will be very great. When I left Kash- 
mir, the doctor at Sreenugger took upon himself to croak in the 
same way, telling me that I ran great risks in the plain from heat 
apoplexy, and that I did not know what I was doing. I was 
also told that coffins were kept at all the stations for people who 
died of heat apoplexy, which was cheering news for a stout and 
possibly apoplectic traveller ! And yet I did myself no harm, 
although the heat was very oppressive. 

I must say that Lord Lytton does not consult his personal 
convenience. Of course the Viceroy travels with much more 
comfort than the common traveller. He fixes his own time, and 
everything is made to suit him. Still, he deserves great credit 
for the personal sacrifice he makes in taking so long a journey 
before the cold weather sets in. 

I wonder how viceroys and people managed in the old time, 
when all went about in tall hats and voluminous neckties, and 
neither ice nor soda-water were to be had ? Are we really gone 
off? have we got soft and luxurious? In the old time, I suspect, 
the weak quickly succumbed, and those that have survived to us 
of the old '''■qui his" are those with constitutions of iron. 

Lord Lytton has certainly not an iron constitution, but he 
stands more work than most people, for he does not require 
exercise to keep him in good health. I doubt whether he ever 
took exercise even when young. Now he is sometimes days 



SIMLA. 



261 



without going out. He writes day and night, and even while 
sitting to me he does business with secretaries and others. I was 
much struck by the business-like view he took of the questions 
discussed before me. Of course, I cannot talk of these, for, like 
the doctor or the lawyer, there are times when the artist must 
not betray the confidence reposed in him. 

On the Viceroy's departure I shall be left with little to do. I 
have, however, the Commander-in-Chief and several of the Vice- 
roy's staff left. Of course no rajahs are expected while the 
Viceregal sun is eclipsed. The Foreign Secretary, however, tells 
me that he will summon them a fortnight before the Viceroy's 
return, and during that time I shall have an orgie of potentates. 

Meanwhile the rain keeps off, and we are having perfect 
weather. The wise each morning say there is rain in the air. 
If there is, it keeps there, as none falls ; the more 's the pity, 
for Simla requires constant washing to make it sweet. I know 
no worse smell than jamponee^ and these jamponees, or jampon- 
bearers, are a large class here. The jampon is a kind of palan- 
quin, carried with movable cross-poles instead of only one straight 
one through the middle. Each jampon has from four to six jmn- 
ponees, and in most establishments there are two or more jajn- 
pons, and very often two relays of bearers to each. In fine 
weather the jampon is open, and in shape is rather like a large 
shoe. In bad weather or in the evening there is a waterproof 
square hood fixed over all, that gives it a most funereal appearance. 
I thank Heaven I have not had occasion to use this means of 
progression, which my weight would render most difficult for the 
jamponee, and enjoyment of which is, from the movement of the 
bearers, decidedly an acquired taste for the person inside. 

The world of Simla jogs on, or rather rushes along, at its 
usual pace. All are bent on enjoying themselves, and champagne 
flows on every side. Every evening at eight the roads are full of 
jampons conveying the fair sex to their festivities. Dinners are 
nominally at half-past eight, and of course the evening beginning 
so late, the hour for returning is also deferred. The distances, too, 
for so small a place, are enormous. It is more than three miles 



262 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



from here to Peterhoff, where lives the Mulike Lord Sahib;'' and 
the " Chota Lord Sahib,'' or Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab, 
lives some half-mile farther on this side. The native town or bazaar 
through which you have to pass from the Viceregal quariier to 
this is sufficiently dirty and offensive to the nose. It is most 
thickly inhabited ; and at night, coming home from dinner, one 
is astonished at the number of inanimate bundles lying on step, 
shelf, or roof, all of which represent so many sleeping men. Of 
course these camp-followers of head-quarters, for they are mostly 
of that class, make a good thing of the Simla season. The other 
day, going to paint at Peterhoff, I found the long verandah which 
runs round the house strewn with precious goods, shawls, jewels, 
and stuffs of all kinds, while all around squatted the inferior shop- 
men with other bundles of goods. Lady Lytton had signified her 
intention of buying some presents. 

The English notices and advertisements in some of the shops 
are amusing. My grocer has written up in large letters, " Licensed 
to Retail Wonders." 

Simla society is a curious study. Simla itself is like an English 
watering-place gone mad. Real sociability does not exist. People 
pair off directly they arrive at a party, as a matter of course, and 
the pairs, happy in their own conversation, do not trouble them- 
selves about the general hilarity. Indeed, the muffin system, like 
that in Canada, is the order of the day. If you have not a pair, 
as in my case, you are likely to die of social inanition. When 
such a state of society exists, there must arise most frequent and 
terrible squabbles, especially among the fair sex, and it is difficult 
to find two of the dear creatures who are on friendly terms. 
Theatricals are much in vogue, and I was begged to get up a piece 
of mine, but I found it next to impossible, since Mrs. M., whom 
I wanted to act with Mrs. N., refused to do so, while Mrs. X. 
would act with neither. This would be rather amusing if it were 
not a bore, for my tastes are catholic, and I do not want to mix 
myself in either the local scandals or squabbles. 



SIMLA. 



263 



\<^th August. 

The clouds have at length risen, and we are in a fine mist of 
rain, out of which looms and flashes thunder and lightning. 
Moreover, the Viceregal sun has left us for Madras, so that I am 
doubly in the shade. 

Before he went down, I finished the head of the Viceroy, so 
that in case of accidents the picture is safe. I went up the day 
before he left to have my final sittings, and see Burne, the Private 
Secretary. It was a curious sight, for the final Council was sit- 
ting, and all about flitted secretaries with papers. It is odd to 
think that the plain-looking gentlemen there assembled should 
be ruling over two hundred millions of God's images ! 

My interview with the Secretary was somewhat unsatisfactory. 
They want me to put in many more Europeans, and amongst 
others these very Councillors. Now, beyond the work it entails, 
every person I put into the picture renders it so much bigger, 
and, as far as I can make out, it will be 30 feet already. I should 
have time to paint them while waiting for the Viceroy, but I 
tremble at the size of the work. 

On Thursday, thirty-one guns announced the departure of His 
Excellency. At Delhi most of the chiefs had the number of the 
guns in their salute increased, and some — Sindia, Holkar, Kash- 
mir, and Oodeypore — were raised up to the traditional Viceregal 
salute, viz., twenty-one — to their great delight. Imagine their 
disgust at finding by the Gazette that the Viceregal salute was 
increased ten guns, and the Empress's raised to one hundred 
and one ; so that there was a greater distance than ever between 
the ruler and the ruled. This is our way of conferring favours. 
Notwithstanding the departure of the Viceroy, there is no cessa- 
tion in the gaiety of this place. Dinners begin to pall upon me, 
since everywhere you get the same thing to eat ; there is always 
the same preserved salmon or whitebait, the same soups and 
ejttrees, and nearly the same company. Indians suppose that 
the Queen and Empress always feeds on preserved meats, and 
when you dine with a rajah you get nothing else. Kashmir gave 
me eleven different kinds of preserves. Oh for a good sole or 



264 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



some kind of fresh fish ! It is only out here that you can reaHze 
the enormous trade some houses do in this preserving business. I 
never could imagine how Messrs. Crosse and Blackwell manage 
to keep up their palace in Soho on Worcester and other sauces, 
which is all one sees from that establishment in England. India 
is the true source of their wealth, and not Worcester. 

20th August. 

The rains are off to-day, and everything is clear and beautiful. 
There is also a fresh touch in the air, reminding one of early 
autumn in England. Under these circumstances, Simla is de- 
lightful ; ordinarily, it is very relaxing. 

In the lull between the going of the Viceroy and the coming 
of my rajahs, I have undertaken to bring out a play. 

This will not interfere with my work with Europeans, and any- 
thing but Europeans I despair of getting ; I should have to go 
into the interior to get subjects to paint, and, with the rains not 
well on yet, it is rather hazardous travelling. I am told that the 
hill rajahs do not hide up their women ; and it is just possible, 
through the influence of the Deputy Commissioner, I may be able 
to get some studies. I am working that official, and waiting 
anxiously for the result. Meanwhile to-morrow I begin the 
Commander-in-Chief, who has a very good soldierly head, which 
I shall enjoy painting. 

What more can I write about Simla, where I spent three 
months in comfort ? Everything is so English and unpicturesque 
that, except that the people one meets are those who rule and 
make our history — a fact one can hardly realize — one would 
fancy oneself at Margate. 

One of the customs of society here is, I think, peculiar to India. 
Any one can call without a previous introduction. Indeed, the 
new arrival is expected to go round and show himself in the 
station, and this in the morning, for from eleven to two is the 
fashionable hour of reception. I cannot bring myself to leave my 
work and rush round, pasteboard in hand, to make new acquaint- 



SIMLA. 



265 



ances; consequently I have got into much hot water, and am 
thought an uncivilized prig ! 

Officialism is also rampant. The new order of precedence has 
just been published, which, if some had their way, would have 
been taken down to second-class post-office clerks. In this new 
order everything is settled, as to India ; but the visitor, however 
high his rank, has no precedence, except by courtesy. I do not 
find any mention of artists in this document, either with or with- 
out Government commission, and I am in consequence frequently 
left in the cold. So much the better : the hot water in which I 
have got may serve to warm me. 

As the season goes on the weather gets refreshingly brisk. 
Jheend has arrived, and also Faredkote. The former will only sit 
in the early morning, so when I start at six for my four miles' 
ride to his Highness's house, which is in the farthest part of the 
town, it is quite fresh, and even cold. The rides back are not so 
agreeable, as the sun is, of course, always warm. 

All these Sikh rajahs are descendants of successful free-lances 
of the last century. The Sikhs themselves are Jats, cultivators 
of the soil. Their religion was founded by a Guru or holy man 
who wrote their scriptures, a book called the Grmith. At the fall 
of the Mogul Empire, the Sikh power rose in the Punjab ; but 
it consisted of a kind of warlike republic, composed of successful 
chieftains. Even Runjeet Sing, the Lion of the Punjab, never 
took the title of King, though he was paramount over the Land 
of the Five Rivers. In theory the Sikhs are all equal and belong to 
the Khalsa, or Brotherhood of the Faith. Runjeet merely assumed 
the headship of the Khalsa^ and fought for God and Guru Govend. 

Maharajah Jheend is a cousin of Nabha. Between them I 
fancy there is no love lost. Nabha's predecessor was supposed 
to have been not quite loyal during the second vSikh War, and 
the state was consequently not viewed with favour. Jheend, on 
the contrary, has always been treated with honour. He has been 
made a G.C.S.I., along with the late Puttiala, much to Sindia's 
disgust. 

" What does the Government mean by putting such fellows on 



266 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



an equality with me?" said the great Maharajah. "Why, my 
ancestor used to send orders to them, and never thought of 
writing with his own hand ! " 

Ah ! Maharajah, think of the Peishwa's slippers ! 

This present Jheend is universally esteemed. He is a good 
ruler, a kindly old man, and, moreover, has what to me is much 
more important, a very fine head. He is only forty-two, but looks 
over fifty. His house is just like Nabha's. 

Faredkote is quite a small rajah. When I arrived at Lahore, 
Faredkote's vakeel sought me out, and begged me to arrange 
about sittings. The Rajah was in Lahore, and offered to call on 
me, or send his carriage, or do anything I wished. I called on 
him, and found him most friendly, and he decided to come up to 
Simla to be painted. He has a charming son, who is a great 
favourite with all Simla. In native society one must never praise 
a child's looks, as it is thought to bring bad luck. If any one 
does hazard an observation that the youngster looks well or 
handsome, the parent assumes at once a most distressed look, 
and will, if he knows you well enough, give the child a blow on 
the cheek, to avert the ill omen. Both Jheend and Faredkote I 
have painted. 

The Viceroy is back ; the festivities of Simla still continue ; and 
rain has fallen, at least in the plains. Here we are sadly behind- 
hand, being some 60 inches short of our normal supply. I am 
told that it is cooler in the plains, and begin to think of flitting. 
Meanwhile I fear the journal is neglected. No rajahs are ex- 
pected, and my time, during the month of September, is spent 
pleasantly, but, I fear I must own, unprofitably. The modern 
Capua has decidedly an enervating influence on my artistic 
energies. I managed, however, to paint both the Viceroy and 
Lady Lytton, with their eldest daughter, the Commander-in-Chief, 
and six of the viceregal staff, besides the three Sikh rajahs I 
have mentioned. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



HOLY BENARES. 



\^th October. 



T length I have left Simla and its civilized gaieties and 



scandals, and can resume my journal with some chance of 
recording therein something more than the flirtation of Captain A. 
with Mrs. B., or the quarrels and jealousies of C. and his wife, 
which form the staple conversation of the modern Capua, swelled 
by tittle-tattle of the Viceroy and his eccentricity, and idle specu- 
lation as to the doings of the far-off Turk. And yet it is when 
one has left Simla that one sees the advantage of its delicious 
climate. On the morning of 15th October, as I rode down to the 
tonga office, nothing could have been more enjoyable than the 
morning air, that almost made one long for a great-coat, and 
rendered necessary a good warm suit, such as one wears during 
the English autumn. Yet at Kalka, eight hours' drive, it was 
decidedly warm ; at Umballa, notwithstanding the shower falling, 
excessively stuffy ; and in the railway, directly the i6th sun 
rose, most fearfully hot. However, as you rattle along through 
the flat plains of Hindostan (the Himalaya snows having been 
long since lost to view), the motion of the railway makes an 
agreeable substitute for the punkah, and it is only when the train 
stops that one perceives how hot it really is. Still, I confess the 
sight of the plains delights me. At each station crowds of white- 
muslin or linen-clad natives, jabbering, washing, smoking, and 
even praying, are a constant delight. I marked one evidently 
superior person, neatly dressed, with patent-leather shoes and 
gold spectacles, who at every station spread his bit of linen on 
the ground, took off his European shoes (which he would not 




267 



268 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



have done for any sahib), unhooked from his nose his gold specs, 
and prayed most fervently. Was it ostentatious piety, to attract 
notice, or real religious fervour? — ^^biz or spangles?" Who shall 
say ? But there, at each stoppage of a quarter of an hour, I was 
sure to see my friend, and as these opportunities occur at least 
every hour, he must have got through a "sight of prayers" during 
the day. So on we sped during the whole of that day and the 
next night. At Aligurh I was surprised at being recognized by 
a man I had not seen for twenty-two years, who was at college 
with me. At Allahabad I met another friend, whom I had last 
met at the head of the Liddar Valley at Palgam — so small is the 
world ! Finally, at twelve o'clock on Wednesday, after a good 
roasting and much shaking, I arrive at the holy Ganges, and see 
Benares on the other bank. 

I confess I was surprised during the journey to see the country 
look so green. It has narrowly escaped a tremendous famine, 
saved by only just enough rain to enable the natives to get in 
their cold-weather crop ; yet the trees were green, and much of 
the ground covered with greenery of different kinds. Everywhere 
the ploughs were at work, drawn by patient little bullocks, scratch- 
ing up the ground in the primitive way which suffices for such 
elementary cultivation as it has sufficed from time immemorial, 
and will suffice till the " three R's " are taught through the land, 
and India and Indian cease to be a delight to the eye. 

Meanwhile I have to force my way through the squabbling 
and noise I have always found wherever there is any water, 
whether river or channel, to be crossed ; and finally, having taken 
my seat with much dignity in by far the most primitive boat I 
ever entered, I have time to look around, and to see across the 
broad bosom of the sacred Ganges, Benares, stretching for two 
or three miles, with a crowd of boats at its feet, and many fine- 
looking buildings rising high into the sultry air. Whew ! it was 
very hot. What beautiful torsos the rowers had — black as the 
deepest coppery bronze — showing every muscle of the chest 
and stomach ! It is only when they stand up that one perceives 
the weakness of their lower limbs, which are decidedly bandy 



HOLY BENARES. 



269 



And what oars they row with ! — a bit of board nailed on to a 
broom-handle ! The boat is steered by an enormous oar, worked 
beautifully by the steerer, who has to throw his whole weight 
on it to make it act. 

At length we land, and I am conveyed in a close gharry 
through the cantonments — very like the Agra cantonment, or 
that of Lahore or Gwalior, for all cantonments are alike — to an 
hotel, which is somewhat out of the way in comfort. I confess 
that I go to sleep, but then I had not been in bed for three 
nights. 

At half-past four I sally forth to see the Holy City. First, I 
am told there is a festival, the Bharot Metta, going on, where 
I shall see all the rich people and rajahs of Benares, and very 
glad I am that I arrived in time to see this truly native feast. 
The streets were crowded with the usual throng of picturesque 
figures ; but what formed the beauty of the scene was the 
crowded housetops and balconies, where seemed to be gathered 
the beauty and fashion of the Hindoo Zenana, who are not gene- 
rally to be seen ; women with every conceivable kind of coloured 
drapery, in all manner of wonderful positions, who did not mind 
showing their faces on the anniversary of the meeting of Ram 
with his brother Lachsmana. Now and then we passed the bal- 
cony of some important person, rajah or rich man, where he sat 
in state with his family, fanned by attentive domestics, and clad 
in his best. Sometimes this great man was a little child, held 
by his mother or grandmother, and seeming to enjoy the scene 
with the dignity that an Oriental inherits at his birth. High 
over head rose the dust, mixing with the warm sunset tones, 
and making a delicious "flue," which would have delighted some 
of our French brother painters ; and at length, the sun being 
down and the moon well up, I take boat at the Jeypore^/^ti/ and 
float down the Ganges. 

It is the hour of prayer, and along the banks of the river, on 
planks hardly above the stream, I see dimly innumerable forms 
of Brahmins doing pooja, wrapped in devout contemplation. At 
one ghat I see a fire where they are burning the body of a Hin- 



270 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



doo, who has been fortunate enough to gain Paradise by dying 
on the banks of the sacred river. From many a temple rises the 
sound of bells, not offensively loud, but mixed with flutes and 
softly-beaten tom-toms. Down the river itself float many lamps 
in earthenware jars, while over all shines a moon as soft and 
delicate, amid its white clouds, as any I can remember in far-off 
England. The air is cool, the sounds and sights blend harmo- 
niously together. I forget the long journey, the heat and rattle 
of the railway, and rejoice that I too have been allowed to 
make a pilgrimage to Holy Benares. 

\Zth October. 

Up at five, and start at half-past, to see again by daylight 
what I saw first by the magic light of a silver moon. A de- 
lightfully cool drive brought me down to the Jeypore ghat, and 
again we take boat. The early-rising sun gilds the buildings 
along the bank, among which stand many fine palaces belong- 
ing to most of the great rajahs. There is Holkar's, where 700 
pilgrims and Brahmins are daily fed ; there Nipal's ; there the 
site of Sindia's, splendid in its desolation, for the whole side 
of the mud-bank has given way, and tower and bastion have 
fallen, and lie there on the river bank. Here is the palace of the 
great Jey Sing, by the gJidt from which I embark, and inside is 
that learned Rajah's observatory. In fact, in number the palaces 
almost equal those in Venice, and very much resemble them 
in that each consists of a solid basement, from which rises the 
palace proper ; only at Benares the buildings rise from a high bank, 
and sloping down from the basements are ghats, to which even 
picturesque Venice has no parallel, for these ghats are crowded 
with devotees and Brahmins doing their morning ablutions. 
There are 25,000 Brahmins in Benares, and over 100,000 pil- 
grims, who must all wash in the muddy stream, for the Ganges, 
like most things sacred, is offensive to the nose. But what a feast 
for the eye of an artist ! Here a Brahmim wrapt in prayer, 
there a group of boys splashing about in the river ; here a mixed 
throng of men and women, the latter in every conceivable kind 



HOLY BENARES. 



271 



of colour ; and all are bathing and washing, yet without the 
least indecency. It is true that the wet made the drapery cling 
with statue-like fidelity to the rounded limbs of the bathers ; but 
these ladies have a way of shifting one garment (and they only 
have one) and putting on another, without showing a portion of 
their own skin. The high-class Brahmin presents when nude — 
and he only wears when bathing the scantiest attire — a most 
comfortable appearance. He is always sleek, and often fat ; in- 
deed, some presented an abdominal appearance that quite put me 
in conceit of myself. The Brahmin is moreover fair. The women 
were many of them a light coffee colour, and some had most 
divine figures, admirably displayed by the clinging of their wet 
garments. But alas ! few were young. Is it that the young and 
pretty think not of pooja and washing? or does the crafty Brahmin 
consider that his prayers and washing will do for the object of his 
affections, so long as he divides his attentions to her with prayers 
to the Mahadeva and the terrible Sati ? There must be young 
women in Benares, as in other places. Yesterday, at the festival 
I have described, I saw wonderfully beautiful faces, and one 
in particular — a great lady, evidently — sitting in state in a balcony, 
with (let us hope) her husband, was one of the handsomest women 
I ever saw. She was sitting down, it was true ; perhaps if she 
moved I should exclaim with Achille Dufard in the play, " She 
have bandy legs ! " But none of these young women show them- 
selves while bathing. It is true that I saw one or two reserved 
places, where great people can bathe unseen. Is it possible that 
these one or two places can suffice for all the beauty of Benares ? 
All this was most charming to look at, but for the practical artist 
meant pure distraction : only an amateur could have the pluck 
to attempt to work in such a scene ; the artist would require a 
month's study and careful watching, to get himself well imbued 
Avith the feeling around ; and even then, which of us could do 
justice to what I saw in that morning's sun ? I could only make 
some small scribbles, but shall return and have another artistic 
orgie to-morrow. 

After a couple of hours on the water I landed, and went to see 



2/2 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



some of the temples. The great one is dedicated to Biseshwar, 
or Siva, the patron god of Benares, as Vishnu, or rather his in- 
carnation Krishna, is to Matthera or Muttra. This temple is 
rather a collection of shrines, as, though Biseshwar, in the shape 
of a lingum or conical stone, occupies the place of honour, the 
whole Hindoo mythology is represented around. In this court- 
yard is the gold temple raised to Biseshwar by Runjeet Sing. 
Now, Runjeet was a Sikh, and believed in the Granth, and not in 
Biseshwar. He was, in fact, a dissenter, but showed his sympathy 
for the religion of many of his subjects by this good deed. So 
I have recorded how Maharajah Sindia kept Mohurrum with the 
Mohammedan, though a Hindoo. Fancy what a scandal it would 
make among the pious dissenters, if one of their body subscribed 
to the building of a chapel for the Romanists, or if a British magis- 
trate were to contribute to a shrine of Siva ! The Mohamme- 
dans are not so tolerant : our fanatical friend Aurungzebe de- 
stroyed Benares much as he stamped out Matthera (or Muttra), 
and erected the mosque, whose beautiful slender minarets are the 
first things that strike a newly-arrived traveller, on the ruins of 
the old temple to Biseshwar, and with its materials too. But 
though Aurungzebe's mosque is there still, the times are changed. 
Through some decision of our courts, the right of way to the 
mosque has been stopped. The Hindoos have been too strong 
for the Moslem. They will not allow him to use the great gate 
to the courtyard of his own mosque, but force him to enter 
through a side door. The mosque is therefore seldom used. 

In all the temples I visited there was a crowd of worshippers, 
— men and women. They bowed and prostrated themselves 
before the idols, and, those that had any, poured Ganges water 
over the Linga ; those that had none, dipped their fingers into 
the water and signed themselves, very much as Roman Catholics 
do. They then rang, or rather struck, a bell, to wake the god, 
" lest peradventure he slept." It is curious how much one religion 
that is cumbered with much ceremonial must necessarily borrow 
from another. All this bowing and signing and offering sacrifice 
one has seen a thousand times in Italy and elsewhere. At one 



HOLY BENARES. 



273 



temple, that to the Holy Cow, and one of the most picturesque, 
there were at least fifty bulls and cows, every whit as sleek and 
fat as their attendant Brahmins. Well, at all events, the Brah- 
mins have that worship to themselves ! 

In England one gets to consider India as a kind of changeless 
fossil country, but this is not so. No country has been so terribly 
harried by innumerable conquerors and tyrants. Aurungzebe, 
who died in the beginning of the last century, seems to have 
destroyed more buildings than most countries ever possessed. 
Benares he quite destroyed ; yet, notwithstanding, the priests 
here say that temples have existed on the present sites from time 
immemorial ; but it is a well-known fact that none of the temples 
now extant are two hundred years old, that is, about the age of 
Kensington Old Church, lately pulled down. One sure sign of 
this is their extreme smallness, which is accounted for by the 
fact that Aurungzebe forbad any Hindoo temples to compete 
with mosques in splendour, and limited their size. This limit has 
now become the fashion, and, although our Government of course 
exercises no control in such matters, all the temples, modern or 
ancient, are wretchedly small, being all built to the scale to which 
they were limited by Aurungzebe, but which has now become 
the prescribed form. 

Benares was much out of elbows generally during the reign of 
the Moslem bigot, and it was only the revival of Hindooism, under 
Sivaji and the Marathas, that saved it from falling into utter de- 
cadence. All the finest houses and temples have been built by the 
Maratha chiefs of that day, and are kept up by their descendants. 

The Hindoo religion takes a very realistic view of the god- 
like offices. There is one Deity, Sakhi Binayaka, whose duty it 
is to record the visits of the pilgrims — sakhi meaning "witness- 
bearing ;" and no pilgrimage is valid unless the pilgrim goes to 
this shrine and puts in an appearance by ringing the sacred bell. 
Again, another deity, Bhairmath, is the kotwal or magistrate 
appointed by Siva to look after everything in Benares, and there 
is a temple dedicated to his club, a kind of huge policeman's 
bdton in stone. There are sacred wells of the most stinking 

18 



274 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



kind, which are supposed to cure all diseases ; but as the bathers 
have to bathe in them for twelve years before they can be cured, 
Nature generally decides one way or the other before the period 
of bathing is over, and spares the priest responsibility. Thus has 
priestcraft overlaid the original fine idea of Brahminical religion 
with all kinds of absurd tradition tending to increase the power 
of the Brahmins, and bring money into their pockets — that is, if 
they have any. Yet is Hindooism anything but moribund ; on 
the contrary, to my surprise, I hear it is converting all the wild 
tribes by incorporating their deities into the already crowded 
Hindoo mythology. They say there are three or four times more 
gods than mortals in Benares itself Certainly the fervour I wit- 
nessed both yesterday and to-day, at the bathing and in the 
temples, was very surprising. People I saw, both men and women, 
wrapt in thought, holding their nostrils to make their prayer more 
efficacious, and spending whole hours in religious contemplation ; 
before smearing themselves over with ashes and ochre, to prove 
that pooja is over. I have been reading a handbook of Benares, by 
an English padre^ sneering at all these things and at the foolish 
traditions and stories of these simple folk. If the Brahmins 
chose to retort, they might find much to sneer at in the religion 
of the saJdb. Far be it from me to say which is the most over- 
laid with superstition. 

Some people laugh at the poor Hindoo for his worship of idols. 
Intelligent Hindoos will tell you that they do not worship the 
image, but view it as a symbol, and that something tangible is 
necessary to fix the wandering mind of the worshipper ; much 
as I remember a calculating boy requiring a slate on which he 
described circles all the time he was mentally calculating, to keep 
his eye from catching view of anything that might distract his 
thoughts. In India often the idol is not an object of much vene- 
ration, except to the uneducated. I saw myself a well-dressed 
woman make a lingum from Ganges mud, and pray to it for 
some time. When her prayers were over, she broke up the mud 
and threw it away ! 

I must conclude with an amusing story of Indian servants. 



HOLY BENARES. 



275 



which happened to a friend of mine on leaving Simla. This lady 
had engaged several servants during her sojourn in the hills, and 
on leaving wished to discharge them. They of course all de- 
manded chittis (written characters) ; and these characters were 
given. What, then, was the ladies' astonishment, on arriving at 
the luggage-booking office, whither she had sent her luggage 
the day before, to find that it had been refused as " insufficiently 
labelled." Insufficiently indeed ! The labels were the servants' 
characters — " Gundha good bearer for three months," &c. ; while 
the servants had gone off contentedly with the labels, "Mrs 
, passenger to Umballa." 

2^th October, 

The only temple I visited in Benares after the dispatch of my 
last journal was the famous Monkey Temple. I went to it at 
sunset through the outskirts of the town, past many handsome 
houses belonging to the rajahs and swells, who seem to like to 
congregate in this truly Hindoo city. Some of these houses had 
fine gardens attached, which were kept with considerable care, 
and looked green and pleasant amid the heat and dust of the 
city. The temple itself is like most temples, a red central build- 
ing, much covered with carving, standing in the centre of a 
cloister by the side of a tank. It is dedicated to the goddess 
Durga, another name for Sati, the wife of Siva. The goddess 
seems to have a liking for monkeys ; possibly because of their 
repulsive likeness to human kind and especially Hindoos, for 
she is represented as a destroying and pitiless deity, who would 
delight in the lowering of man to the level of brutes. Monkeys 
abound in the vicinity of her fane. On the payment of a rupee, 
which is spent in sweet biscuits, to the call of administering 
Brahmins, thousands of them rush headlong into the temple : 
meres de famille with young ones clinging to them ; small mon- 
keys ; large dittos, and every kind of green-grey abomination, all 
scrambling, kicking, and screaming. Presently they scatter in 
all directions, and a gigantic male appears. He is the Rajah, and 
woe betide any one of his subjects who comes within reach of 



2/6 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



his terrible paw! for this worthy representative of the terrible 
deity of the place spares neither age nor sex. It was a scene 
not without its comic or even moral side. 

I remarked that the very young monkeys did not seem to 
know the use of their hands. When they fed, they took their 
food with their mouths like dogs. I wonder whether all monkeys 
do this in their wild state, and only use their hands in imitation 
of that great ape — man ? Those that I saw, who had arrived at 
an age of discretion, certainly fed themselves with their hands, 
but then I only saw them where men could have shown them 
how to eat. 



CHAPTER XIX. 



DHAR — INDORE — SATNA. 

ON Saturday I left Benares and its sweltering heat, and 
journeyed all one day and night ; past Allahabad, where 
we were four hours late, owing to the blocking of the line 
through an accident ; past Jubbulpore ; and across the plains 
of Hindostan. On Sunday we see the Nagpore hills in the 
distance, where there is a sanitarium, Puchmurree, much fre- 
quented by the gasping English of these parts. 

It is very hot, very dusty, and most disagreeable travelling. 
There are clouds over the hills, and we long for a shower to cool 
the air and lay the dust ; but no rain comes, and somewhat 
pumped out I arrive at Khundwa (thirty hours from Benares) 
some three hours late. Here I am hospitably entertained by 
the railway magistrate. Khundwa is in the midst of a very wild 
country, and is the station whence the Holkar State Railway 
leaves the main line, and travels up the ghats to Indore. Our 
host, after dinner — or rather supper, for we do not arrive till 
lO p.m. — tells us one or two tales of the jungles around. This 
one, which I remember, is original. The following telegram 
was received at Khundwa Station : " Tiger dancing on platform. 
Pointsman run away. Line not clear. What for do?" The 
tiger was shot the next day to prove the truth of the baboo 
stationmaster's telegram. 

On Monday I journey on by the Holkar State Railway, and our 
road lay through thick jungle — on seeing which I can well believe 
the above story — and very much uphill, so that the fifty-six miles 
to Chozal take oyer four hours. The line is laid all the way 
to Indore, except in one place, where for about two hundred yards 

277 



2/8 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



there is nothing but sand. Here they have tried every means, 
both tunnelling and cutting, but everything falls in, and they are 
now trying to dig out the objectionable bit, and build in the gap. 
This little break necessitates a drive of twenty-three miles. The 
first part of the drive (six miles) is an ascent like the rail, after 
that you arrive at a level plateau, only broken by several isolated 
flat-topped hills, and this plateau is the richest part of Holkar's 
land. 

Indore itself is hidden by trees, and I have not yet seen it. I 
drove straight to the Residency or Agency, a large strongly- 
built house, which played a part in the Mutiny, when, by-the-bye, 
Holkar narrowly escaped being hung by the uncompromising Sir 
H. Rose. At the door I was received by Captain Barr, who, as 
Sir Henry Daly, the Governor-General's agent, was at Simla, was 
deputed to do the honours. 

My travels, however, were not over. After a good rest that 
night, we started the next morning for Dhar, thirty-six miles off. 
We " railed " to Mhow, and then drove thirty-three miles over a 
flat plain to our destination. 

Dhar is a small remnant of what was a large Maratha state. . 
The founder of the family was one of the original leaders of the 
Hindoo revival, under the great Sivaji, and ought to rank with 
the Guicowar of Baroda ; but, unfortunately for the present repre- 
sentative of the family, the founder died before he consolidated 
his family and state, and both were much preyed on by the subse- 
quent leaders of the Marathas, Sindia, and especially Holkar. 
Indeed, if the British had not interfered, Holkar would, in the 
most neighbourly way, have quite swallowed up Dhar. 

It is a curious fact that both Sindia and Holkar of that day, 
although they destroyed the state of Dhar, always acknowledged 
the superiority of the Rajah's family, and in durbars, &c., at tlic 
Court of the Peishwa, occupied places of lower rank. The present 
Sindia and Holkar have, I fear, forgotten their origin, and would 
be surprised indeed if required now to give the precedence to the 
Rajah of Dhar, which was readily conceded by the founders of 
their families, Madaji Rao Sindia and Jeswant Rao Holkar. 



DHAR—INDORE—SA TNA. 



The Maharajah is, Hke his state, very small, but a most cheerful 
and friendly little man, who received Barr and myself with the 
utmost cordiality, and granted me a sitting the very afternoon we 
arrived. He is a very good little man, and very popular among 
his people, who say, "The Maharajah may be small, but he has a 
large heart." He is, I believe, a careful and intelligent ruler. 

The town of Dhar presents a comfortable and, for an Indian 
town, quite clean appearance. There is a fort, of course, but 
how unlike the feudal fortresses of Rajpootana ! This is a solid 
walled and bastioned summit to a hill, strong enough once, before 
artillery had arrived at perfection, and the art of killing risen to 
a science. 

Times are sadly changed now. In the Mutiny, when the Maha- 
rajah was a boy, the Dhar army, only a handful of men, mutinied 
too, purely from funk, and took refuge in this same fort. We 
brought up troops, and breached the walls, but by some strange 
carelessness allowed the mutineers to escape. There, however, is 
the breach, and it was only this year that the Maharajah had 
leave to repair our handiwork. The poor little man hid his face 
when we asked him why he had not rebuilt it, and said the 
damage we had done would cause him the outlay of a lac, and 
that at present he could not afford the money, even though he 
viewed the breach in his ancestral walls as a disgrace. 

Here is a curious story — quite true. On our arrival here the 
dewan, or Minister, came, as in duty bound, to pay his respects. 
Talking to Barr (who is assistant agent), he said of a neighbouring 
rajah, " Wultum ki beinare haV (He has the Wultum sickness). 
And what do you suppose is " Wultum " ? Why, " Old Tom " 
gin ! a common sickness among the dusky potentates. 

Dhar, the Maharajah, not the place, has a passion for photo- 
graphs, and has had himself taken in every conceivable position. 
He sent up for our amusement eight large books, in which, with- 
out exaggeration, there were fifty photographs of himself. He 
is proud of his family too, and hates Holkar, who, he says, is 
not a Maratha, but only a Bania. The Dhars are Puar Rajpoots, 
and belonged to the first wave of Marathaism under Sivaji, who 



280 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



was a scion of the Oodeypore family, and consequently a close 
relation of the sun. 

On Friday the Maharajah, having been refused our company 
to dinner in consequence of our short stay, gave us some sports. 
We had previously surprised him at a buffalo fight, of which he 
seemed rather ashamed, as the present Agent of Dhar is some- 
what of a serious turn, and tries to prevent any amusement of the 
kind. There is no such feeling with me. I confess I like to see 
a good fight, even between buffaloes. These in Dhar fought better 
than those I saw at Muttra, and came together once or twice with 
a great crash. I do not suppose they really hurt themselves ; 
the buffalo is not a very plucky beast, and soon runs away. Not 
so the rams we saw on Friday; they were most plucky, and 
caring not for weight or size, got knocked head over heels in 
the most joyous way. 

We saw too some feats of horsemanship, which to my mind 
were infinitely more cruel than any fair fighting, for the poor 
horse is bitted most cruelly, and tied in in every conceivable way. 
It is wonderful to see them walk across the maidan on their hind 
legs, but not beautiful ; and as they approached, we saw that 
their mouths were full of blood, from the horrible bits employed 
to keep them up to their work. 

After the sports I bade adieu to the Maharajah of Dhar, who 
did all he could for me, and presented me with a curious attar- 
sprinkler of silver, made at his capital, and a tulwar^ that must 
have been manufactured to his size, so small is it. 

On Saturday we drove back to Mhow, and again railed to Indore, 
and I am ready to do Holkar and Dewas this week, and, I hope, 
Sir Henry Daly, who ought to arrive on Thursday from Simla. 

INDORE. 

On Monday, 25th October, I began my rajahs here. Dewas 
(junior branch) was my first. He is a youngster of about six- 
teen, who is at school here, being brought up under the eye of 
the biwra sahib ; a thin, sickly youth, cousin to Dhar, and, like 



DHAR—INDORE~-SA TNA. 



281 



him, a Puar Rajpoot. The grandfather had two sons, whom he 
loved equally well, and could not bear to give all his broad acres 
to one, leaving the other in the cold ; consequently he split his 
property. The two Rajahs were to live at Dewas, and every- 
thing was to be fairly divided ; and the saying in Dewas is 
that if a lemon is brought in as tribute, it must be cut in two, 
that each Rajah may have a share. The Dewas of the elder 
branch, who is a kind of half-uncle to the younger, is in disgrace. 
He " raised merry hell " in his portion of the property, so that 
it has been taken from him to be managed, and he has to live 
on ;^2,ooo a year, and was not allowed to go to Delhi. 

My sitter is rather a prig; he is not without brains, and fancies 
himself vastly. 

"What is your favourite study I ask him. 

" Political economy, for that is the study of the most use to a 
rajah." 

He is always talking of his studies, yet two years ago he was 
a miserable specimen of humanity, who could not speak in the 
presence of the sahib without crying ! I fancy he tries to say 
the i-ight thing, and is sly. I hear some little time ago he got 
very drunk just to see what it was like, and had to be soundly 
scolded ; now, therefore, he is on his P's and Q's. 
"What is that great garden in London 
" Garden ! Do you mean the Crystal Palace } " 
" No ; I mean where there are so many animals and other 
things to be seen." 

" Oh, the Zoological Gardens .? " 

" Yes, that 's what I mean. Is your picture going there t " he 
asked. 

He intends to go to England, he says. Well, he has a fine esta- 
blishment of about ;^40,ooo a year, and has had a long minority, 
so he may be able to gratify his tastes for a few years at least, 

" When are you going to make a railway to Dewas } " I ask. 

" Never ! " cries my young Conservative ; " for then I should 
lose all my transit dues on opium." 

" And how about your political economy, Rajah Sahib t " 



282 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



" Oh, but the transit dues on opium are very valuable." 

So the Rajah is, I fear, no exception to the rule. Theory is 
all very well, but it requires a bold man to practise what he 
learns. Notwithstanding his speaking English, the little man 
bores me. I cannot help thinking him a humbug, and resent 
having fair sentiments stuffed down my throat. 

On Tuesday I go to Holkar. Tukaji Rao Holkar has been 
ill since Delhi ; he has even now fever, the result of cold, and 
requested me to paint him as fat as he was at the Assemblage, 
rather than as he is now. He prides himself on his flesh, and 
can, they say, eat a whole wild boar unassisted at one meal ! I 
must say I saw but little change in his vast bulk ; he looks a 
little greyer, but that may be that he has forgotten the dye this 
morning. However, he is certainly seedy, and that does not 
render his society or conversation any more fascinating. 

I described Tukaji Rao at Delhi. I have since then seen 
many rajahs. His Highness is the twenty-fourth I have painted. 
Holkar is, however, the beau ideal of a rajah. He sits lolling 
about in his big chair while flies are brushed away by attendant 
slaves, and if his Rajahship leans back, a cushion is put under 
head or elbow; in fact, a rajah for the Surrey Theatre — "the 
Great Mogul called Bello " — the dream of one's youth ; yet as 
sharp as a needle, and as cheeky and proud as the King of the 
Cannibal Isles with nothing on but a club and a few beads. The 
second day I went there the Rajah had to put on his jewels, and 
what a sight ! It takes at least six men to dress him. There is 
the Hereditary Master of the Jewels, an old man with spectacles, 
who puts them on with the care of a real artist, while four men 
stand around with trays, on which are displayed jewels worth I 
do not know how many lacs. 

"What shall I wear?" says the Rajah. "I think this hand- 
some." And he holds up a kind of peacock made of diamonds 
and pearls. " Yes, that will do." 

And the peacock is " offered up " to his head while he lazily 
turns from side to side, gazing with self-satisfied look into a 
glass, which originally cost eight annas (one shilling), and which, 



H.H. TUKAJI RAO HOLKAR, MAHARAJAH OF INDORE. 



DHAR-INDORE—SA TNA. 



283 



held by a sixth man, contrasts strangely with the jewels it is 
palled on to reflect. Squalor and magnificence are found side by 
side in all these rajahs' abodes. None of them have any sense of 
fitness — in fact, no native has. 

"We won't put on these pearls," cries the Maharajah, "for 
without them this looks more like a crown." 

And this in India, the land of caste, changeless through suc- 
ceeding ages ! Why, this man's ancestor was a goatherd, and he 
himself, for all his airs, would cheerfully pay any sum of money 
to be considered a Rajpoot ; and while many Brahmins stand 
around with clasped hands, and probably his cook is of Brah- 
minical caste, not one of them would eat with him. Rajah though 
he be. 

And Indore ? Well, it is, like many other Indian towns, well 
to do and modern. Driving from the Residency to the palace, 
you pass through the same kind of dirty suburbs ; you cross one 
rather good bridge over a river which, this dry year, has ceased to 
run, the water remaining only in pools, filthy and stinking, but 
thronged, nevertheless, with people washing, bathing, and praying 
as usual ; then you pass a square, in the centre of which is a statue 
of the Resident before the Mutiny, Sir Robert Hamilton, erected 
by the grateful Holkar to the memory of the man who undoubtedly 
saved him from being hanged by Sir Hugh Rose. Then you are 
in Indore proper, a thriving, bustling city, but without any cha- 
racter apart from other Indian cities. Everywhere is the same 
feeling for decoration, some of the better houses even here having 
really good carving on them, but nothing is really fine or striking. 
You require some aid from nature to make a place really pictu- 
resque. Pile up the rocks, raise a high cliff, perch a castle on the 
top, and straightway you have a dream for handbook makers, 
whether it be Edinburgh, Heidelberg, Jodhpore, or Oodeypore. 
A town on a flat always starts with a disadvantage from the 
picturesque point of view, although of course it is easy to make 
it fine with broad streets and big houses. Well, Indore is on the 
flat, and since the streets are not broad nor the houses high, it is 
not picturesque or striking. 



284 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



The palace in the centre of the town is not large for so wealthy 
a Rajah. It is irregularly built, and rises some five storeys high, 
but then the rooms are very low, and the windows little holes. 
Of course the room in which I painted the Maharajah was singu- 
larly unfit for a painting-room ; what room in India is suitable 
for a studio ? 

I have done what I want from the Rajah, and am now painting 
Sir Henry Daly, the Governor-General's Agent here, who is one 
of the Europeans who are to figure in my picture by the side of 
the rajahs, to prove that the Assemblage was not got up entirely 
for my dark friends. Sir Henry is a Lieutenant-General and an 
officer of some distinction. He commanded the Guides through 
the siege of Delhi, and was there badly wounded. He is, more- 
over, an agreeable man of the world, and Irish, so I am bien 
tombe. 

I do not know what to, do after I leave this, or when I do leave 
it. Rewah, whom I really want to paint, has been telegraphed 
to, and it is just possible he may come here. If he does so, I 
shall, while waiting for him, go out and do Rutlam. If I have 
to go to Rewah, Rutlam will have to be left out- Meanwhile I 
am expected at Mysore. 

'jth Nove^nber, 

On Sunday there was a Hindoo festival, — the Dewali, when 
the pious Hindoo regulates his affairs, counts his rupees, and 
dedicates the whole to one of his innumerable deities, I forget 
which. When Holkar was sitting, I remarked that I had kept 
the Mohurrum with Sindia, and the Hooli and Gungore with the 
Rana of Oodeypore. 

"Then," said Holkar, "you shall keep the Dewali with me." 
But he forgot to send for me, and I was not sorry, for there was 
but little to see. I walked down to the bridge to see the illumi- 
nations, which were certainly pretty. The river is very low, as I 
said before, and only a series of pools reflected the innumerable 
little lamps ; but the dark spaces between, caused by the drought, 
rather added to the effect. Everything had its little illumina- 



DHAR—INDORE—SA TNA. 



285 



tion ; the molly or gardener had his lamp in the garden, the 
syce in the stable, and so on. There was a continual bang and 
splatter of squib and cracker, and of course tom-toms and flutes 
were ceaselessly exercised, for natives love noise. 

Monday I employed in painting Daily, and on Tuesday I went 
again to the palace, to make a study of the Bala Sahib, or the 
eldest son of Holkar. He is a youth of nineteen, a fine big 
fellow, with a good deal of " go " in him ; possibly he may grow 
into a solid lump of inert flesh, like his father. He talks English, 
and wishes much to go to England. I fancy his " paternal " does 
not care about "shelling out" for the trip. 

Holkar, they say, is a tremendous bania, a financier of the first 
water. He lends money wherever he can get good security; has 
his agent at Bombay, and his quiet flutter in that speculative 
market. Moreover, he has a way of screwing his ryots known to 
him alone, and gets more out of the land than any other chief 
I was talking to the head of the police (Khundwa) here, and re- 
marked that there was no famine in Indore. 

" Don't you know what the Rajah does ? " said he. " He has 
his agent at Choral (the present terminus of the railway), who 
gives every distressed ryot his railway fare and two rupees, and 
ships him off to the British territory. So he saves the expense of 
keeping his famine-stricken ryotsj' 

I fear he is not the only man who tries to shunt the responsi- 
bility of the famine, or rather scarcity (for it is not a famine yet 
in Malwa), on to the broad shoulders of the British administra- 
tion. Down the Neemuch road (by which I passed from Oodey- 
pore, or rather from Chitore, to Ajmere) thousands of people 
have passed to Neemuch, where British territory begins. They 
say as many as 130,000, with their beasts and household goods, 
are there congregated : not yet are they famine-stricken, but at 
any moment, should grass fail, all these people would be on our 
hands. 

Meanwhile, during the whole time I was at Indore the sky 
was of the most limpid blue, and not a cloud was to be seen. 
The sun rose cloudless, and without a cloud he sank in the red 



286 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



v/est, hot and scorching, drying up tank and river. They cannot 
have rain before Christmas, and that is two months off — alas ! 

On Tuesday, 6th November, I left Indore with regret ; for there 
I met capital living, pleasant people, — all, in fact, that makes life 
enjoyable ; but I must not linger, and, considering I have painted 
three rajahs and the Agent to the Governor-General in a fort- 
night, I do not think I have done badly, especially as I had to 
go to Dhar, which took more than two days out of the said fort- 
night. I must say it was with intense regret that on Wednes- 
day I turned up the line away from Bombay, instead of to that 
point of happy departure. Rewah had to be done, even though 
he was sixteen hours' by train out of my way ; and at Rewah, 
or rather Satna, I arrived at half-past two on Thursday morning. 
Satna is the residence of the Political Agent, Major Bannerman, 
and is only a small modern town round the railway station. 
Rewah is under British administration. The Maharajah, who is 
of one of the most ancient families in India, is a great muddler, 
and wasted his substance horribly. If a Brahmin came to him 
and said a good prayer, the Rajah would say, "That is a good 
word," and give the holy man a village. And so, after a long 
reign, villages have become scarce, and poor Raghuraj Sing 
had to come to the British for ii lacs, and place his realm 
under a political officer. The state of Rewah, or rather Baghel 
Khand, is of vast extent, and, like all the old states, belongs in 
a great part to thakoors and feudal chiefs, who are virtually in- 
dependent. The Rajah is the head of the Baghele Rajpoots, 
descended, like Oodeypore and Jeypore, from the sun. I do 
not think that the Rana of Oodeypore would quite allow either 
family a direct descent from the sun or Suraji ; but, then, each 
family naturally thinks itself allied to Oodeypore, who is ac- 
knowledged head of the Rajpoots. 

Orcha, whom I painted at Delhi, is the head of the Bundelis 
— enemy of the Bagheles. Years ago the rajah of these parts 
lost, one after the other, all his sons, and was so distressed that 
when a new one was born he sent him out into the jungle. There 
he was found by a holy man being suckled by a tigress, and 



DHAR—INDORE—SA TNA. 



287 



taken home to his unnatural parent, who, on being sternly re- 
proved, became repentant and hopeful. This son succeeded, and 
afterwards founded the clan of Rajpoots called " Baghele," after 
his nurse ; baghel being " tiger " in the patois of this part of 
India. So, you see, the story of Romulus and Remus is repeated 
in Hindoostani. 

There have been thirty-five rajahs in direct descent to the 
present one, Rajhuraj. 

Baghel Khand is of course a very wild country, and full of odd 
customs and funny people. The resident or political agent told 
me that when he first arrived he had great difficulty in convincing 
them that justice and truth were inseparable from the British 
Raj. Brahmins, of course, are the great obstructives. They are 
the Irish of India. However, Major Bannerman hung one for 
murder the other day, and they have, as the Yankees say, " sim- 
mered down." Amongst the curious customs may be cited that 
of bansmaree. When two people quarrel and have words, one 
will go home and in cold blood cut the throat of one of his 
children, and the blood of that child is supposed to be on the 
head of the man who caused the quarrel. Another custom is a 
kind of hari kari, like the Japanese. You offend a Brahmin, 
and he commits janghmaree, that is, literally, " thigh-cutting," — 
sometimes cutting his thigh, sometimes even stabbing himself in 
the stomach — and his blood is on you. One Brahmin actually 
did this in court, before the present agent ; but he, a stolid and 
determined Scot, had him cured, and then gave him two dozen 
to teach him better manners. 

Among all these people lives the agent, who manages Baghel 
Khand without a guard of any kind by day, and only one police- 
man by night. 

I have lost no time here. The very first day, at 2 p.m., the 
Rajah arrived. I have described him elsewhere. If Holkar is 
like a rajah at the Surrey, what is Rewah like? Imagine a tall 
burly man, having his face painted bright red with some kind of 
earth. He talks English in a curious disjointed way, and can 
even read it. Altogether he is rather a learned man, up in the 



288 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



Vedas, the Vedantas, and Vedangas, but withal a somewhat bur- 
lesque personage. His painting himself arises from his belief 
that he has leprosy. The doctors say he has nothing of the kind. 
His skin is singularly fair, his hands quite like a European's, and 
large and well formed. When young he was a very strong man, 
and he is a great shikaree even now, though much given to pooja. 
He says, " When tiger come, pooja must wait ! " 

This curious individual arrived in a palki with the oddest 
get-up, his head being bound in a handkerchief to keep the 
whiskers up in the fashionable manner. Behind him was the 
usual tagrag and bobtail always found in the suite of a maha- 
rajah. He then proceeded to dress. What the looking-glass 
conveys to him I cannot imagine, but with what he sees he 
seems much satisfied. He has more clothes than any other 
maharajah, and no end of jewels. His crown, a most eccentric 
sort of hat, is worth ^40,000. He talks of it with affection, and 
points out each individual jewel. In fact, he is a kind of mixture 
of childishness and cleverness, and is moreover a very good fellow. 
Talking of Jallawar, he said, " He little child, and stupid." 

" Silly " said the agent. 

" No ; stupid. He a ass." 

"Why?" 

" He come to me and say, ' Maharajah well ? ' I say, ' I quite 
well.' Then he say again, ' Maharajah well ? ' I say, ' Quite 
well.' He say again, ' Maharajah quite well ? ' I say, * No ; 
Maharajah ill.' Oh, he a ass ! " 

The poor little Rajah was probably frightened at Maharajah 
Rewah's appearance, and well he might be, 

"And what do you think of Maharajah Ulwar?" 

" He ignorant — oh ! very ignorant. Not read. He say to me, 
' Where live ? ' I say, ' Know capital of Jeypore ! ' He say, * No.' 
I say, ' Not know capital of Jeypore ! What for want to know 
where I live ? ' " 

The old sinner has thirteen wives, but only one son alive. He 
has had many, but they always die about two years old. In the 
Zenanas I fancy they stuff them with sweetmeats, and give them 



H.H. RAJHURAJ SING, MAHARAJAH OF REWAR OR BAGHEL KHAND. 



DHAR—INDORE—SA TNA. 



289 



no end of opium to keep them quiet. When his last child died, 
he did not even shave himself to prove his grief. 

" What use ? I bit philosopher ; leave crying to women. I 
no cry." 

They laughed here when I told them what Daly had said, that 
he had shaved himself for the death of his mukter or minister. 
He had bad gout, that was all. I have had three sittings, and am 
off to-morrow morning at 4 a.m. It is absolutely absurd to paint 
so elaborate a potentate in the time : a month at least would 
be required to paint his coat and jewels ; but I have done some- 
thing like, and he at least is satisfied. 

"I like much picture — oh! very much. I say, sir, I like 
picture. I want copy of big picture." 

He has no idea of what he wishes. When at Calcutta he goes 
into a shop, and literally buys everything ; a most burlesque old 
chief, but a gentleman, and very different from Holkar. 

" Maharajah Holkar he say to me, * Want to be Rajpoot.' Oh, 
very difficult ; first Rajah Jeypore, then Jodhpore, then Oodey- 
pore. Perhaps pay one crore (one million), and we talk about it." 

The old fellow would take the money, no doubt, but it could 
never be done. He is a most staunch supporter of the British. 
In the Mutiny he stuck to us like a man, and he attends every 
durbar. 

" Are you going to Calcutta, Maharajah ? " 
" Yes, I go."" 
"And Jeypore?" 

" He not go. He very thoughtful." 
" Why?" 

"Because Maharajah Jummo sit higher. I say what matter? 
Government mean not harm. Government know. But he 
thoughtful : that not good word." 

He has just sent me a ring, to remind me of Rewah. He told 
me, " When see it on finger, think of Baghel Khand. I say, sar 
when I sitting, I put on durbar face." 

" What is that ? " 

" Like angry tiger." 

19 



290 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



"Hungry tiger?" said I, misunderstanding him. 

" No, sar, not hungry ; that mean passion. Angry tiger ; that 
good word." And he proceeded to call up an expression more 
comic than any I ever saw. 

And so I bid adieu to this eccentric but kind old man, for whom 
I confess I entertain a warm feeling of friendship. I fear from a 
business point of view he is not satisfactory. He changes his 
mind every minute, and is most impulsive ; but he is, according 
to the natives' ideas, a perfect rajah. Should British capital ever 
flow into Baghel Khand, Rewah may become very rich. There 
are minerals of all kinds in the country, and untold wealth amid 
its vast jungles, where even elephants are yet to be found. Alas ! 
there are no roads. Under British management these no doubt 
will be made, but if in the time of the present Rajah, he will no 
doubt squander his money, as he has done hitherto, on Brahmins 
and splendour. They say he has elephant-chains made of solid 
gold. 



CHAPTER XX. 



BOMBAY — BANGALORE — MYSORE — MADRAS. 

HAVING again reached civilization, it is difficult to find 
anything to record in my journal ; and, moreover, the 
last batch went away on Monday, and this has to leave on Friday 
morning, when I start on another journey, against the post, to 
Bangalore. 

This place is so full of bustle and noise, that sitting here, in by 
far the most uncomfortable hotel I have yet been in, I can fancy 
myself back in Europe. But heat, and above all prickly heat, 
quickly recalls me to a consciousness of self and India. Happily 
the land-breeze does set in towards afternoon, to make things 
tolerable. Bombay feels generally like a hothouse, and even this 
delightful breeze resembles the draught of air from an open door 
in a Turkish bath, not cool in itself, but cooler than what one has 
been through all the day. Yet Bombay people like it, and even 
get ill when removed to a more exhilarating climate. So I find 
Calcutta people sicken at Lahore, and up-country folk cannot 
stand either Calcutta or Bombay. I myself feel quite incapable 
of exertion, either mentally or bodily, here. Perhaps I might get 
used to it, as the shrimp said to the hot water ; meanwhile, like 
the shrimp, I am getting a good red colour all over. Never mind, 
to-morrow I leave for something better. 

I have been painting Sir R. Temple, the Governor of Bombay, 
who was at Delhi as Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal. It would 
not do for me to paint a picture of an Indian ceremonial and 
leave out his marked and energetic features. I have therefore 
been these last three days to Malabar Point, to do his portrait. 

291 19 — 2 



292 



IMPERIAL I^DIA. 



" I have a palace at Parel," H.E. explained, " but I prefer this 
villa, since it's cooler." 

I cannot, in such a climate as Bombay, fancy a more delightful 
place. It is on a headland, and has the sea on three sides, so 
that it catches all the cool breezes that blow. There is actually 
no house. There is a central bungalow, with three large sitting- 
rooms, and round are seven other bungalows, with sleeping accom- 
modation, and all in a delightful garden. Each bungalow has a 
broad verandah, in one of which I immortalized the Governor. 
It is very hot even there, but after a few hours of fever-heat there 
comes a cheerful tinkle. You look up, and find it is the glass drops 
of the chandelier moving in the breeze. The tinkle becomes louder, 
and never is music more welcome. " Blow, gentle Zephyr, blow!" 
At nights, even in my hotel the wind blows steadily, and luckily 
it does, for when it stops you quickly wake, and toss about and 
fight with mosquitoes, and use bad language (shocking mine was 
the first night !) in vain, until Zephyr comes again, and you sleep 
and dream of — her ? — no, but home ! Very pleasant, but very 
ungrateful. Melvill, my former host, is away, and being left to my 
own devices, I have seen more of the town, or — forgive me, Bom- 
bayans — city. Around this hotel are enormous blocks of build- 
ings, with high-pitched roof and pointed windows, built for public 
offices at vast cost. Well, I do not like them. They look heavy 
and out of place ; but then they are like home, and cheer the 
hearts of the English here, who are very proud of their new 
buildings. " It was the very best butter," said (I think) the Hatter 
in " Alice in Wonderland." Yes, but why use it for the works of 
a watch ? So our friends here have sent to the very best archi- 
tects for designs, and the very best architects have sent designs ; 
only those admirable gentlemen have never been out here, and 
know nothing of the requirements of the country or of the art 
that exists here, so the result is far from satisfactory; and between 
ourselves, I do not think the designs, even from an English point 
of view, are of the best. Quite good enough for India, I fancy, 
some people would say. On this I have my own opinion. I, 
being of cold and unsentimental nature, prefer the barbaric 



BOMB A Y— BANGALORE— MYSORE— MADRAS. 293 

originality of some of the houses in the bazaar to the Church- 
warden Gothic I see around me, though such Gothic does remind 
me of my beloved country and far-off home. There is something 
absurd in building in India houses with high-pitched roofs. In 
Europe such roofs were raised to cast off the snow. Fancy snow 
in Bombay! In India, at all events in the plains, the roofs are flat, 
for a good reason : the people during the hot weather invariably 
sleep on the tops of their houses, to catch the breeze if possible. 

BANGALORE. 

19/// November. 

I left Bombay on i6th November (Friday) at half-past two. 
I need not say the weather was fine. Towards evening we reached 
the ghats, or mountains, that form the edge of the vast plains 
forming India proper. I have been up them and down again, 
but each time have made the journey after dark. This time I 
had a chance of seeing the beauties of these mountains: strange 
weird forms of granite, notched and worn into all kinds of curious 
peaks and pinnacles, all aglow with the setting sun or violet 
against a golden sky ; while down below are the valleys, deep 
blue, and fading into the plains or flats of the sea-coast. The 
scene was wonderful, and the traveller going up had every chance 
of studying its varied effects, for the ascent of the ghats is very 
steep, being among the engineering triumphs of the age, and one 
which has only lately been equalled by some of the American in- 
clines on the Pacific Railway. And so I enjoy myself much, with 
my head out of window to see the view and get as much air as 
possible, as the engine puffs slowly along. But evening must 
come at last, and the finest prospect fade, and I settled myself 
down for the night, with a hope of seeing something of Southern 
India at waking. When I do wake I find a flat plain and nothing 
else. For hours we glide along, still nothing but plain ; then 
here and there come little mounds of boulders, as though some 
giants of bygone age had been collecting rocks and piling them 
in heaps. When the railway passes close to any of these heaps, 



294 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



one is astonished to see the size of the stones. At Raichore, 
which I reach on Saturday afternoon, there is a whole range of 
these rocky hills, and, moreover, a collection of low houses, iron- 
roofed and English-looking, inhabited by the officials of the 
railway. This is after more than twenty-four hours' rail. We 
have stopped at many stations, but, on my honour, I do not 
think we saw a single house, excepting the station and perhaps 
one or two houses near. I was told afterwards that there were 
towns near, but that there had been a quarrel between two 
engineers as to the proper course of the railway, and it had 
been decided to take a different course from either of those 
recommended, and wait for the towns to come to the railway ! 
Well, the towns have not come, and do not seem in a hurry to 
come. 

This is famine country, although it looks bright and green 
now, and fresh with growing crops. By-and-bye two Englishmen 



other a civilian. I find they are both employed on famine work. 
I must say I have been rather sceptical about the famine, so I 
asked my friends, 

r "Have people actually died about here?" ~ ^ 

^ " By hundreds," says the military man. i " When the famine 
first began. Government would not believe the reports of the 
collectors. After a time the people began to die so fast they were 
obliged to believe." 

" What ! " said I, " actually of want of food, or disease ? " 

" Of want of food. When I came here, the place was quite 
stinking with the smell of dead people, who lay along the road- 
side. I do not know what we should have done without thfe 
dogs and vultures." i " ^ 

" How did you manage to keep well amidst all this ? " 

" Well, I had a touch of cholera, and my assistant died of it ; 
but it 's all right now." 

" And you have now plenty of food ? " 

" More than we want. There are fifty thousand tons of grain at 
head-quarters." 




evidently a military man, and the 



BOMBA Y— BANGALORE-MYSORE—MADRAS. 295 



" Yes," said the civilian, who wore green spectacles, " so there 
is in my taloog, and much of it is rotting." 

" And don't the people bury the dead ? " I asked. 

" Generally they do not, being too weak ; and if they do, when 
we insist, they only put them in loose earth, which is no good." 

" Not a bit," said Green Spectacles. " I nearly lost my eye- 
sight through a fly getting into my eye, which the doctors said 
must have come from a dead body." 

" Yes," said the other, " I don't know what we would have done 
without the dogs and vultures." 

" And when you had grain, was there any waste ? " I asked. 

" I have seen the grain just thrown off the trucks amongst the 
people ; but this was at the beginning : when we were sent down, 
we quickly stopped it." 

" And do the people work now ? " 

" They wouldn't at first. They said, ' What 's the use ? the 
Queen feeds us.' But we refused to feed them unless they did 
something, so now they are obliged to work. Of course they 
don't do half the work of an ordinary coolie, you know." 

" I suppose it 's all over now ? " said I, looking on the green 
and smiling landscape, so little like famine, where I see crops 
growing and people working. 

"Yes," said he, "it's only the sick and feeble that suffer now." 

" And how about the money from home ? " I asked. 

" We 've been distributing it, and a great discussion we 've had 
over it. Our collector is for giving it to everybody. ' John Bull 
mustn't be trifled with ; it must be given away at once,' he says. 
Then some missionaries and others say some ought to be kept 
for charitable institutions, to provide for the future. But we 've 
decided to give it away, and let the future look after itself I 'm 
very much against giving to everybody," he said. " The labouring 
classes are much the same as they were before, if you give them 
a cloth and repair their houses. It is the small holders who re- 
quire the most, for they have lost all power of employing labour, 
and have no cattle, or houses, or seed. These are the proper 
objects for home charity." 



296 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



I was much struck with my friend's observations. Still, one 
could hardly believe in such a thing. Every station was crowded 
with natives, all seeming to enjoy themselves, chattering and 
making a noise, and, as I said before, the fields looked so green 
and bright. That night I again spent in the train, and arrived at 
Arconum, where the rail branches off to Bangalore, at 4.30 a.m. 
Here I had to stop till 9 a.m. Then on again. Now I find the 
country changed for the better, and, oh^ joy ! at Arconum, before 
I start, it rains. The whole day is grey and delightful, not only 
because the rain lays the dust, which is most intolerable, but 
because the grey is so unlike India, and reminds me somehow of 
England and home ; and the landscape too has a familiar look. 
There are high hills and much water ; not lakes, but tanks, only 
so large as to look like lakes, and the whole scene with its drift- 
ing clouds and scraps of sunshine recalls the landscape of Scot- 
land, or perhaps of North Italy about Brescia. Of course there 
is an occasional black figure to remind us we are in the East, 
and now and then a grove of palms. Yet I feel sure that if I 
had done a landscape of that part of the country, no one in 
England would have thought it was India. 

All Sunday I speed on, and arrive at last at Bangalore at 
7 p.m. — fifty-three hours from Bombay. This is a long way to 
come for one rajah ; but on arriving at Bangalore, where I am 
most hospitably received, I hear that my journey is not at an 
end, and that I have eighty-seven miles' carriage drive to My- 
sore, where the Rajah lives. I decide on twenty-four hours' rest, 
which I think is well earned. 

Bangalore is delightfully cool. It is one of the best stations 
for climate in India. After the steam of Bombay I quite revel 
in this temperature, and hope to get rid of my irritating prickly 
heat, picked up at what its inhabitants call the " First City in 
India." 

At Bangalore I renewed my inquiries about the famine. 
"Was it bad?" 

" Bad ? This was one of the worst places ! — the dead bodies 
used to lie all about the cantonment. I have seen as many as 



BOMB A Y— BANGALORE— MYSORE— MADRAS. 297 



thirty collected in one night out of holes and corners by the 
road, into which the poor creatures had crawled to die." 

" It is all over now, I suppose ? " 

" Oh, yes, it 's all over now ; the crops are splendid." 

" I should have liked," said I, — not out of vulgar curiosity, I 
hope, but because I had seen photographs of the famine-stricken, 
and they were such very awful specimens that I thought they 
must have been selected from their improbability, — " I should 
like," said I, " to see some famine camp and so I was sent to 
a kitchen. A large quadrangle, surrounded by a high wall, and 
with one large guarded door, and inside, round the wall, sheds 
with pens made of bamboo ; and down the middle were two rows 
of sheds, and under the sheds and in the pens, little huddled 
heaps mostly asleep. "Are these animals or human beings?" I 
think, and then a thing comes towards me — a skeleton ! It is 
easy to say a skeleton, — to realize it with all its ghastliness is 
impossible. The limbs with no flesh, and the joints with nothing 
to conceal their articulation, are horrible enough ; but far more 
dreadful the head, — mostly shaved here, — showing not only bone 
but suture ; and, worst, the poor ribs back and front, with the 
shoulder-blades sticking on as if they had been an afterthought ; 
and the poor stomach, now full, but with skin stretched on so 
tight that one can fancy one can trace the organs within. 

Now, this is not exaggerated in the least. I have described 
one ; they are all the same. Add to this horrible skin diseases 
that would make even a Scotchman scratch himself ; and ima- 
gine 490 of these beings in one relief kitchen! Yet the famine 
is over, and many of these are convalescent and making sheds 
for the rest. 

The superintendent, who showed me as much of this misery 
as I could stand, told me that these were only bad cases — men 
and women who had wandered from the relief works, from a 
desire to escape working, and been picked up by the police. 

" These," said he, pointing to the pens, " are those brought in 
last night. We give 'em lots to eat, but. Lord, sir ! there 's no 
satisfying 'em. They lie and steal to get more, and that 's what 



298 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



makes them ill with fever and dysentery and diarrhoea. They 're 
sure to get it if they eat too much." 
" Do many of them die ? " 

" About ten a night on an average, — sometimes as many as 
eighteen." 

I pointed to one woman with swelled feet, and asked whether 
that was dropsy. "Yes, sir, that's dropsy. That's what they 
get last. When they have that bad, there 's no saving them. 
These are the orphans ; they 're well looked after," said he, with 
a smile ; and I saw a Sister of Charity wandering about them, 
who was anxious to save their bodies that she might have a turn 
at their souls. Then we came to the women. I was much struck 
by the patient silence of all those I had seen, but the women 
were not silent. Many of them had petitions to make. One old 
creature was most clamorous. " She wants to be let out, and 
prefers begging about in the bazaar to being here," said the 
superintendent. " It 's useless feeding up the old people. Give 
'em as much as you like, you cannot fatten them." 

" Do parents care much for their children ? " I asked. 

" Not much, sir. I 've known 'em steal their children's food, 
saying they were certain to die, and the food could do them no 
possible good. It 's astonishing what they '11 eat. Now, this little 
chap," said the superintendent, tapping a little boy on the head, 
" he '11 eat enough for two grown-up men, and it don't seem to 
do him any good either." 

The superintendent is a tall stout Eurasian, who was evidently 
a credit to his feeding, and the contrast between him and the 
mite was terrible. The boy was scarcely human, squatting on 
the ground, and progressing in that squatting position, like a 
monkey. He crawled thus up to us, and laid his upturned palms 
on the ground, and cried. He was covered with filth, and per- 
fectly naked : a truly horrible spectacle. 

" It 's no use clothing him ; he won't keep on anything. He 's 
mad, sir, and this is not the right place for him." 

The poor boy cried on, making creases in his thin face like a 
hideous caricature. 



BOMBA Y— BANGALORE— MYSORE— MADRAS. 299 



" Poor boy ! " said 1. 

" We have great trouble with him sometimes. He can be most 
abusive, I assure you. Would you like to see the infirmary, sir ? " 

But I had had enough of horrors. Infirmary ! were these not 
infirm enough ? So I left, with an impression I shall never forget. 
The whole thing, hideous as it was, was rendered almost grotesque 
by the inhuman aspect of these poor creatures. If they had been 
white, I could not have stood the sight a moment ; as it was, I 
could hardly realize that I was of the same genus as these ape- 
like beings. And the famine is over ! There were double the 
number here formerly, and ten times the number in other camps! 
Only a fourth of the famine-stricken here were men. 

My host, a high official, told me that the famine had been 
coming on for a year, that up to August there had been no 
showers, and that then the bravest-hearted despaired, for all hope 
of rain was past. Happily in August it poured hard — a most un- 
usual thing — and the country was saved. I saw the food being 
given out to these poor people. Their rice and meat to me did not 
look appetizing, but I was told that it was better than what they 
usually had. God help them ! I wonder how many of them will 
live ? They seemed all treated with kindness, though of course a 
small amount of discipline has to be exerted. Famine seems to 
deprive the poor creatures of all sense of respect or decency. 

With Bangalore itself I was rather disappointed. The scenery 
on the way from Arconum here had been so pretty that I had 
anticipated finding Bangalore surrounded with hills, and highly 
sketchable. But the place itself is on an elevated plateau or 
rolling prairie ; well wooded, no doubt, but without a character 
of its own. 

On Monday night (19th November), after dinner, I start by 
moonlight for Mysore. Thirty miles had to be done by carriage, 
then twenty-seven by bullock-cart, and another thirty by carriage. 
I have frequently remarked that it is not pleasant for a tall man 
to travel by bullock-cart, and I experienced all the misery of 
being doubled up for eight hours. However, the longest night 
must end, and on day breaking I found myself driving through 



300 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



a pleasant country, along a good road shaded by fine trees. At 
about five I arrive at a place famous in history — Seringapatam. 
I well remember an engraving of a picture of the death of Tippoo. 
The usurper has fallen to the ground, still grinding his teeth, 
and surrounded by equally furious Sepoys ; behind are tall 
walls and minarets, and, I think, a palm-tree; for what is a 
picture of India without a palm-tree? Well, Seringapatam is 
very unlike that picture. I had but a short glimpse of the town 
or fortress as I drove by, but on my return was enabled to make 
a longer visit. The country round about is green and flourish- 
ing, the rice nearly fit to cut, and nothing remains of the wars 
of years past, or indeed of the famine of the present year. Seven 
miles farther on we come to Mysore, so pleasantly situated 
among green trees, amidst which the roofs glint in so familiar a 
manner, that I can almost fancy myself in England. 

Mysore, the capital (nominally) of the state of that name, is 
called after a devil. Close to the town is a hill, rising about 
i,ooo feet from the town level, called Chamundi, on which is a 
temple sacred to Kali, the wife of Siva. She is reported to have 
slain here the demon Maheshawar, and this demon's name was 
contracted to Maisur or Mysore. Kali is of course the tutelary 
deity of the Rajah. Her sacred rites, including human sacrifices, 
used to be freely performed here; in fact. Kali is as diabolical a 
bogey as ever was elevated to the godhood. 

Having refreshed myself after my fifteen hours' coaching, I 
went with Captain Wilson, His Highness's tutor, to the school to 
see my subject. 

The school is a summer-house of the late Maharajah's, where 
a certain number of lads of good family are educated with the 
present Rajah, and here I found His Highness sitting in class, 
learning geography. 

Chamrajendra Wodear is a very stout lad of fourteen ; he was 
the adopted son of the late Maharajah, and succeeded, when of 
course quite a child, in 1868. In Mysore there are no large land- 
owners ; probably Hyder Ali and his son swept them all away. 
But there is a kind of ruling clan — the Ursu — who call them- 



BOMBA Y-BANGALORE— MYSORE— MADRAS. 301 



selves Rajpoots, and from this clan the late Maharajah chose his 
successor. It was curious to see His Highness sitting with his 
class of less fortunate Ursus. "Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel." 
Here is one suddenly made heir to 5,000,000 of subjects and 
75 lacs a year, and the others have nothing. With him are his two 
elder brothers, fat, like him, and too old for school, whose occu- 
pation consists in looking after the fortunate youth. Among 
the most intelligent of the class-fellows of the Rajah was the 
Delwai, or hereditary Commander-in-Chief of Mysore. In old 
time the Delwai was a kind of Mayor of the Palace, and, be- 
sides being very powerful, had vast landed estates. Hyder and 
Tippoo quickly seized this nobleman's property, and the family 
is reduced to comparative poverty. The present Delwai is a 
charming boy, rather younger than the Rajah. 

I was asked to put a question to the class, and heard from the 
Maharajah the names of the five rivers of the Punjab, the source 
of the Ganges, Burhampootra, and Indus, and many other things 
useful to rajahs. One rather forward youth readily undertook to 
show me the course of the Congo, though Stanley had only by 
that week's mail decided that much-vexed question. 

The Maharajah has no pride or swagger. In the evening I 
went to see the boys play at cricket ; they play right well, bowl- 
ing round-hand, and "swiping" freely, and all but the Maharajah 
barefooted ; they actually rink, and put their skates on their 
bare feet ! Each boy had a long lock of hair hanging behind, 
while all the rest of the head is shaved ; and, as they mostly wore 
long white raiment, they looked like a lot of demented school- 
girls when playing. 

They shout and cheer in English, both at cricket and at polo, 
which game I witnessed the next day. 

The Maharajah is certainly a most amiable lad. He does what 
he is told without hesitation, and is thoroughly Anglicized. Of 
course there was the usual struggle with the Zenana. He was 
taken to Ootacamund, the hill station of this part of India, 
quite a sickly, mealy-faced youth, and brought back bronzed and 
healthy. 



302 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



"What ! " cried the head Ranee, " I entrusted you with a Maha- 
rajah, and you bring me back a black boy ! " 

He is, however, quite emancipated from the influence of the 
Brahmins, as the following incident will prove. The Maharajah 
has his head shaved (all but one lock) once a month. Now the 
month was nearly up while I was at Mysore, and underneath the 
royal pugree there was quite a show of black hair. 

"You must not paint him so," said one of the Brahmin atten- 
dants. 

" Then he must shave," said I, " for I can only paint what I 
see." 

" It cannot be ! His Highness can only be shaved on a pro- 
pitious day chosen by the astrologers, and they won't be hurried." 

And so the discussion went on. The Maharajah said nothing. 
But when he was resting, he said, " Would you mind leaving the 
hair ? I think it is better so." 

His rooms in the palace are quite like a European's, and as he 
is brought up with every kind of healthy instruction, I trust he 
may turn out well. I regret the European furniture, though I 
fear that is unavoidable. 

The palace was built by the late Rajah, who was put on the 
guddee in '99, and died only a few years ago. It contains some 
curious bits of Oriental work, in the way of carved ivory and 
silver doors and thrones, and also the most remarkable collec- 
tion of atrocious pictures I have ever seen. There are portraits 
of all kinds of people from the time of Colonel Wellesley, strange 
specimens of art. 

There is one throne which is viewed with religious awe. It 
is of solid gold, and belonged to an ancient dynasty of rajahs, 
from whom the family we put on the throne claim their descent. 
During the reign of the Moguls, the Rajahs of Mysore actually 
sent to get permission from the Kings of Delhi to use this 
throne, and Aurungzebe, after the payment of a large sum, gave 
them the required authority. And yet I fancy Aurungzebe's 
authority never reached beyond the Deccan. I was shown this 
throne, of which the workmanship is curious, and in parts very 



BOMBA Y— BANGALORE— MYSORE— MADRAS. 303 



fine. It is supported on three beasts, two, the outer ones, sup- 
posed to be horses, while the centre one is a dragon, with red 
glass eyes. On his head was a sprinkling of red powder, show- 
ing that some one had recently been doing pooja here. 

The town of Mysore was entirely destroyed by Tippoo, who 
transferred the Government to Seringapatam. No doubt he 
thought by obliterating all trace of the former Raj to consolidate 
his own. The family of the Rajah were kept close prisoners in 
the palace of the usurper, and, when we took Seringapatam, were 
found in the Hindoo temple, trembling for the result. The son 
was quite a boy when raised to the guddee, and it was he who 
built this palace. All these curious carved doors and ornamental 
work were done in his reign, which lasted seventy years. These 
show the artistic proclivities of the Southern Indian. Moreover, 
I saw some modern work that was extremely good ; but of 
course, as no one now encourages it, and this young Rajah is 
brought up with English ideas, and will probably look down on 
everything Oriental, such art will in a few years cease to exist. 

I left Mysore after my afternoon sitting, and drove out to 
Seringapatam. This well-known place, or rather fort, is sur- 
rounded on two sides by the river Cavery. The two sides un- 
protected by the river have been most carefully fortified, I suspect 
by the French, and are very strong ; in fact, to the old guns of 
'99 the place must have been nearly impregnable. Our attack 
was made on the corner at which the river bifurcates. Our bat- 
teries were placed on the farther side of the river, and across it 
we stormed. All this is a matter of history. The breach has been 
repaired, though by the new masonry its situation is still to be 
traced. 

The town of Seringapatam owes its prosperity of a few years 
to the Sultans Hyder Ali and Tippoo. There was formerly but 
a village here, round the temple of Vishnu, from which the town 
takes its name, — Sre-ranga-patana, " City of the Sacred Sun." 
The richness of the country round about probably led to its adop- 
tion as the capital. The river Cavery, unlike most of the rivers 
of Southern India, was even when I saw it a considerable stream, 



304 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



and by irrigation its waters are carried over much of the adjacent 
country. This year has been a time of unprecedented drought, 
but around Seringapatam the crops are magnificent, not only 
rice being grown, but sugar-canes in great abundance. 

We held the city and fort for several years, but the climate was 
so very malarious, and the number of deaths so^great, that our 
garrison had to be removed, and now we have only one regiment at 
a place about ten miles off, called French Rocks.* This unhealthi- 
ness is said to arise from the effects of the sun on the rocks in 
the bed of the river. Seringapatam has therefore fallen from its 
greatness, and only boasts the tombs of the two men who first 
raised it to the rank of Capital of a province. But owing to the 
injustice of posterity, while Hyder Ali, the really great man, is 
nearly forgotten by the Moslems, whom he raised to power, 
Tippoo, who was a bigot and a tyrant, and whose conduct was 
almost that of a madman, still lives in their memories, and his 
tomb is much frequented by the pious, who can read there, in an 
inscription carefully preserved by English money, that he died a 
glorious martyr for his religion, and will live for ever in the 
hearts of his co-religionists. 

About a mile from Seringapatam is the Durya Dowlat, or 
pleasure-house of Tippooj a small palace in a pleasant garden 
reaching down to the river. This palace is covered with rich or- 
namentation, and is a most successful specimen of Moslem art. 
Every corner is decorated with painted arabesques and patterns, 
while the lower storey (did I say there were two ?) contains a 
series of mural pictures of the triumphs of Tippoo. Here his 
army, with his French auxiliaries, all with moustaches, are going 
to the wars. Here they attack, with artillery, the English, who 
are forming square, though evidently getting much the worst of 
it. In the centre of the square is the English commander. Colonel 
Bailie, represented with whiskers (all the English have whiskers), 
in a palanquin, with his finger in his mouth, clearly quite non- 

* Anybody who has read that interesting book, " The French in India," 
by Colonel Malleson, will recollect this place, where some of our severest 
struggles with the French took place. 



BOMB A Y— BANGALORE -MYSORE— MA DRAS. 30$ 



plussed ; while Tippo is painted holding a rose in his hand, 
calm and triumphant. On one side there is a series of portraits 
of Moslem swells, past and present. The whole place has been 
thoroughly repaired.* Probably the sun has harmonized the 
colours, but the effect of the decorations is most harmonious and 
excellent, though somewhat barbaric.f 

This place has a very bad reputation for health. They say 
that the rocks in the bed of the Cavery give out a miasma here 
too, but I suspect it is the rich paddy land, irrigated by the river, 
that causes fever. The Duke of Wellington lived here while he 
was Commissioner, and must have had many a laugh over the 
Indian Vernet's attempts at military art. 

I continued my journey to Bangalore after I had satisfied my 
curiosity at Seringapatam, and in carriage and bullock-cart got 
through my eighty miles by 8 a.m. on the 24th. Here I rested 
a day, and left again on the evening of the 25th for Madras, 
where I arrived at 6 a.m. of the 26th. Madras is decidedly the 
land of palms. In no other place have I seen them grow so 
luxuriantly. Of the town I can only speak from a ten hours' 
visit. I drove along the beach ; saw the catamarans and the 
surf ; drove out a long way to pay a visit ; and have come away 
with the impression that the distances are enormous, the houses 
large and handsome, the club most comfortable (the best I have 

* Lord Dalhousie paid a visit to this interesting building, and wrote a 
minute, through which a fund was instituted for keeping the place in thorough 
repair. 

t In Buchanan's journey through Mysore, A.D. 1800 (" Pinkerton's Voy- 
ages"), I find a curious account of the way the gilding in this palace was 
done. It appears no gold was used, but lead and glue. The lead is beat 
very fine dry, and then in water is beat up with the glue, and mnde into cakes. 
" This," says Buchanan, " can at any time be dissolved in water, and spread 
thin with a hair brush on common white paper. The paper must be put on a 
smooth plank^ and rubbed with a polished stone till it acquires a metallic 
surface. The edges of the paper are pasted down, and the metallic surface 
is rubbed with the palm of the hand, which is smeared with an oil called 
gurna, and then exposed to the sun. This has to be done two days, when the 
paper acquires a metallic yellow colour, which, however, more resembles the 
hue of brass than of gold." 

20 



3o6 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



seen in India), and the climate decidedly hot. • They say the 
town is very poor, and indeed it does present a rather tumble- 
down, dilapidated appearance ; but there are numerous new 
official buildings, and these have at least the merit of being 
original, and not Gothic. There are no rich native houses such 
as one sees at Bombay and, I am told, at Calcutta ; neither are 
there many rich natives in Madras, as little business is done 
there. On the evening of the 26th I left, and, after a very hot 
journey of nearly thirty-six hours, arrived at Hyderabad, and 
here I am at the Court of the Nizam, our faithful ally. 



CHAPTER XXL 



HYDERABAD. 

T WAS received by Sir Richard Meade, the Resident, and am 
J- still at the Residency, though Sir Richard and his family 
have gone out to their country house at Bolaram, about ten 
miles from Hyderabad, beyond Secunderabad, where we have 
our cantonments. The Residency is a palace, with fine lofty 
rooms built by a former Nizam for the then resident, about 
sixty years ago. 

At 8 a.m. I left to pay my first visit to the Nizam, so you see 
I lost no time. 

Our faithful allies the Nizams have always been the most inde- 
pendent and powerful of the chiefs of India. Like most ruling 
powers, they are the descendants of usurpers, the first being but 
lieutenants of the Emperors of Delhi. As the Mogul Empire 
became weakened by dissensions, and the Marathas conquered 
the country to the north, the Nizams asserted their own indepen- 
dence, and were wise enough to help us against the usurpers of 
Southern India, Tippoo and the French. They were gainers, for 
they were confirmed in their possessions ; but they voluntarily 
gave up the Berars to pay their share of the expenses we had 
incurred conjointly. These provinces were to be held by us 
until these debts were paid, certain portions of their revenues 
being spent to keep up the Hyderabad contingent. The debts 
have long since been paid, but the Berars have been retained 
by us, and under our rule have greatly increased in value. The 
contingent is still kept up at considerable cost, while from 15 to 
20 lacs surplus is yearly handed over to the Nizam. It is to re- 
gain the Berars that Sir Salar Jung made his journey to England. 

307 20 — 2 



3o8 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



Unfortunately he could not have done a more foolish thing. He 
was led by the friends of the Prince of Wales to believe that by 
advocating his rights at head-quarters he must gain the day. He 
ought to liave known that nothing angers the Administration 
here so much as appeals direct to Parliament, and even publicity 
is disliked by the mighty officials of the Calcutta Foreign Office. 

Sir Salar Jung has caught it hot. He is supposed to have 
been spoilt by his English friends. He has been snubbed, and 
struggles on in vain. Even now Hyderabad is a whirlwind of 
political intrigue. An English secretary of Sir Salar Jung's has 
been told to go, and no reason assigned. His fellow-minister 
died, and he has been forced to accept one who has always been 
acting against him. Every one is in a state of high excitement ; 
and as I am an outsider, and have no bias for either party, I hear 
stories on both sides. All I can clearly make out is that since 
the death of the late Nizam, the English have been determined 
to break down the barriers of etiquette that surrounded the chief. 
Up to that date, even the Resident, on approaching "the pre- 
sence," had to take off his shoes and squat on the floor. The 
last Nizam's successor was quite a small child, and the then Re- 
sident, Mr. C. B. Saunders, Sir R. Meade's predecessor, declared 
he intended to go into durbar with his shoes on, and sit on a 
chair. Sir Salar said it was as much as his life was worth to try 
any such thing, as the nobles of the Court were a set of wild 
Arabs and Pathans. The Resident insisted. He had a telegraph- 
wire laid on from the Residency to the camp at Secunderabad ; 
the troops were then kept under arms, and an official left with 
orders, if he heard one gun fired, to give the signal to sack 
Hyderabad. Sir Salar, informed of this, said he would do what 
he could. He lined the streets with his own men. The Resident 
left, paid his visit, sat on his chair, did not take off his shoes, and 
was not killed. 

Since then the Nizam has been accessible to all, but Sir Salar 
naturally thinks, as an Indian, that some of the pi-estige of his 
chief is gone. He is accused of having left his old enlightened 
ways and of wishing to retrograde ; but I think there is some 



HYDERABAD. 



309 



excuse for Sir Salar, who is sharp enough to see how gradually 
English manners and customs undermine Eastern dynasties. 
After all, though the Indian Government have taken upon them- 
selves the guardianship, he is the real guardian of the boy, and 
but does his best to keep his kingdom and honours together till 
he comes of age. That he saved this part of India during the 
Mutiny there is no doubt. He may have been shrewd enough 
to perceive that an Indian anarchy would be worse for him than 
hard British rule, but he did stick to us. He has done, more- 
over, an enormous amount of good to the state. All the lawless 
Moslem nobles, some of whom are very powerful and rich, are 
completely under his thumb ; the streets of Hyderabad have 
been broadened and modernized, though still retaining Eastern 
architecture, and you may, as I did this morning, drive safely 
along them, though every man you meet is armed with tulwar, 
gun, and innumerable pistols and knives. Much traffic seems 
streaming along : swells in palanquins, whose bearers have a 
queer chaunt (very different from my friends in Rajpootana, who 
only ejaculate "Hum, hum, ha, ha ! "), preceded by a host of their 
retainers with swords and spears aloft; elephants, carriages, and 
foot passengers, — although it is only 8 a.m. Finally, my carriage 
stops at a large gate of unpainted wood. There is a pause. 

" How do you do ? " says a stout gentleman in brown silk, 
giving me his hand. 

I alight, and answer his civility ; but I find that the above 
sentence and " Quite well " are all my friend knows of English ! 
However, he takes my arm affectionately, and we enter a garden 
between high walls, in which there is a pavilion. Stopping at the 
steps to take off, his shoes, my friend leads me forward to a good- 
sized room, where I find the Nizam's tutor, Captain Clarke, who 
welcomes me, and tells me that the Nizam is putting on his coat. 
Then, after a minute, the little man enters, salaams, and shakes 
hands. 

Mir Maboob Ali Khan (the Beloved of Ali), Nizam-al-Mulk, 
who has titles that would occupy three lines, is a boy of twelve, 
and small for his age. He has a decidedly sharp face, with eyes 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



running upwards, like a Mongolian; his complexion is fair, and in 
his small white piigree and red velvet dress he looks like a gen- 
tleman. He is much improved since I saw him at Delhi, looking 
stronger and altogether bigger. Captain Clarke makes him take 
exercise and ride, and, above all, eat wholesome things. As a 
Moslem, he can eat with us English, and this makes it much 
easier to look after him than after a Hindoo boy, like his High- 
ness of Mysore, who is stuffed with ghee, sugar, and rice in the 
Zenana, where we dare not penetrate, and who is not allowed by 
caste to eat with his tutors. This boy is most active and plucky, 
as I will tell you by next mail. 

^th December. 

My first visit to the Nizam was merely one of ceremony, to ap- 
point the hour of sitting, &c. ; and, having fixed for 8 a.m. the 
next day, I made my salaam and retired. I was to breakfast with 
the Minister, Sir Salar Jung, at ten, and have a sitting from His 
Excellency afterwards. In the afternoon I drove out to a dinner 
at Bolaram, given by the I2th in honour of the Meades. Bolaram 
is beyond the Secunderabad cantonment, where we have a strong 
division of troops to overawe the supposed discontented popu- 
lation of Hyderabad. It is ten miles out. The road is pretty, 
rising gradually 400 feet, with ridge after ridge of stony ground. 
Secunderabad is of course, like all other cantonments, a gather- 
ing of ghastly white barracks, which even the gold of the setting 
sun could hardly render picturesque. However, the hospitality 
of the 1 2th was unbounded; the dinner was followed by a dance, 
and the evening passed pleasantly enough. I was not home till 
1,30 a.m., and, as I had not been in bed for two nights, I was 
not sorry to draw my mosquito-curtain round me and sleep. 

Up at half-past six to go to the Nizam. The same drive 
through the streets, the same affable gentleman to take me by 
the arm, and I am in the palace again. I find the Azure,* as 
he is called, playing at lawn tennis. He will make really a good 

* I spell this as pronounced, but I suppose it should be, more properly, 
huzoor^^ meaning "the presence," or " His Highness." 



i 



HYDERABAD. 



player, — hits straight and volleys well. Soon we are at work, and 
I find that His Highness is a most fidgety subject. In vain the 
gentleman who brings me in, who is a sort of chamberlain, Mus- 
tafun Jung by name, tells him stories : he cannot keep quiet ; 
he sits on the arm of his chair or on the back — anywhere but in 
the right position. He is most inquisitive, wants to know about 
my colours, and, having selected some of my brushes, whispers 
something to Captain Clarke, his tutor. "Ask him yourself," 
says Captain C. Then Mustafun Jung whispers something to 
Captain C, and I perceive that the Azure wants my brushes, 
which I give him ; and he sends for a paint-box and commences 
a picture of the chamberlain. I find afterwards that it is against 
etiquette to refuse the Azure anything, and it was this that Mus- 
tafun Jung had whispered. 

The Nizam is of a most acquisitive turn of mind, and extremely 
careful. Salar Jung, when I told him about the brushes, said that 
the little man always took all the nuzzars"^ presented to him, and 
as every one who approaches the Nizam presents a mizzar — gene- 
rally money — he (Sir Salar) thought his Highness had been put 
up to it by the women of the Zenana, but on inquiring he found 
the little fellow locked away all he got himself He produced a 
large bunch of keys one day, with which he locks up his savings, 
which must be, even now, of considerable value. The desk he 
works- at is also kept carefully locked, and one day when I 
looked inside I found the books, copybooks, and papers beau- 
tifully arranged. After the first sitting he called for a cloth, and 
himself folded up his newly-acquired brushes most carefully. He 
has too a great feeling for arrangement generally, ordering about 
the servants and boys around him with great abruptness. 

In all affairs of state it is the Nizam first, and the rest no- 
where. Nearly every day Sir Salar, who, as Minister, has managed 
the Nizam's state for the last twenty-five years, calls on the little 

* Nuzzars are gifts given by an inferior to a superior. Sir Salar gave one. 
to the Queen, of course ; but the newspapers said " Sir Salar Jung then pre- 
sented a handsome mugger to Her Majesty, which was graciously received.' 
^^Mugge}'" is the Hindoostani for a crocodile — rather an unpleasant gift. 



312 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



Azure. He advances to the foot of the steps, and salaams three 
times to the ground, while the Nizam stands bolt upright, with 
his hand raised to the top of his turban. It is a curious sight 
to see the grown man and powerful Minister humbling himself 
before the child. After twelve the Azure retires to the Zenana, 
and tyrannizes over Apo women, who spoil and pet him, as a 
matter of course. Zenana influence is the principal thing against 
which the tutors of one of these boy princes has to contend. 
When Clarke first undertook the education of this boy, only 
a year ago, he was a very weakly specimen of scrofulous child- 
hood. He was always surrounded by domestics, so that he 
could hardly ever breathe fresh air. He was fed on sweetmeats 
and unwholesome things, and of course permitted to eat what- 
ever he wanted. Little by little this evil influence has been over- 
come, and now the Nizam always has a good wholesome meal 
every morning with his tutor and any other gentleman present. 
He will not have any servants near him if he can help it, order- 
ing them away with great hauteur. He rides, plays at lawn 
tennis, and is anxiously preparing for cricket. In fact, in a year 
or two he will be as acomplished, in games at least, as any 
English boy of his age. His health too, as I have said before, 
has wonderfully improved. 

At lo a.m., after painting the Nizam, I have been each day to 
breakfast with the Nizam's Minister. Everybody in London is 
familiar with that tall sad-looking man, with his small white 
turban and simple long black or dark cloth' coat. Every^body 
agrees that Sir Salar is the best dressed native in India. With- 
out going quite to that length, I must say that both in appearance 
and manners he is quite the polished gentleman. To every one 
he is most polite and courteous, and to me he was most friendly. 
As I breakfasted with him five consecutive mornings, I saw a 
great deal of him, and all that I saw I liked. He sometimes had 
his visitors in while sitting, and transacted business before me. 
Then, when he was interested or excited, his eyes, ordinarily so 
sad and heav)', would flash out and show that there was no want 
of spirit beneath that calm and placid exterior. 



HYDERABAD. 




t)lR SALAK JUNG. 



There is one thing about Sir Salar that I thought I discovered, 
and that is that his confidence in himself is so strong as some- 
times to deceive him. For instance, there is no doubt that he 
speaks English remarkably well, and has every reason to be 
proud of the knowledge he possesses ; but I am sure that very 
often he does not understand what is said to him. Talking with 
one who seems to understand everything so well, an Englishman 
is apt naturally to talk as though he were speaking to another 
Englishman, and employ all sorts of idioms and colloquial ab- 
breviations, which I am sure even Sir Salar does not understand, 
but which he is too proud to ask to have explained. I am told 
he always will conduct his business with the Resident in English, 
and I am equally certain that many of the difficulties into which 
he has found himself plunged have resulted therefrom. 

Sir Salar's house is an irregular pile of buildings without any 



314 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



architectural elevation whatever. The place in which I painted 
him was entirely English, with pictures, books, and furniture, 
such as you would find in any wealthy Englishman's house. Sir 
Salar has, too, a gallery of pictures, about which I would rather 
not trust myself to speak. He has also an English library and 
librarian, and an Oriental library, and a sisti inahal, or looking- 
glass hall, &c., &c. ; in fact, there is court after court of reception- 
rooms. He has an embarrassing way of saying, " And what do 
you think of that picture?" otherwise I always enjoyed my visit 
to him very much. 

I have heard now so much of the questions that agitate 
Hyderabad society, and have heard too both sides, that I begin 
to have a clear opinion of their character and importance. There 
is no doubt of one thing, viz., that Sir Salar has the Berars on 
the brain. For years he has thought of nothing else. In vain 
the Government here have told him that the time for the recon- 
struction of our treaties with the Nizams has not yet arrived. 
Sir Salar will not take that for an answer. He has committed 
the unpardonable fault of agitating at home. He has had all 
kinds of petitions and statements presented to all kinds of august 
persons unknown to the Indian Government. 

Now, it must be clear to every one that the Indian Government 
must be paramount here, and that, if the Nizam is under them, 
it is wrong to communicate with those at home, except through 
the Foreigh Office in India. But, unfortunately. Sir Salar has 
been influenced by the visitors whorn he has received here, some 
of them peers and M.P.s, and has put himself undoubtedly in the 
wrong. When his late colleague died, he was asked who was fit 
for the post, and he said there was only one person, but that he 
was his enemy. Well, the Government, having suffered much 
from Sir Salar lately, thought it was not right to leave him alone 
in the management of the state, so said they, " As you acknow- 
ledge there is but one person who is capable of helping you, we 
must perforce appoint that one person, although, as you say, he 
is your enemy." And so the co-Regent was appointed, and Sir 
Salar was much shut up. Hov/ all the squabbling will end I do 



HYDERABAD. 



not know. I fear it can only end in one way, and that not the 
way the Minister would wish. Meanwhile he has to put up with 
the co-Regent, who was here to-day, and is an elderly gentleman, 
with a capital head to paint, and has the name and title of Nawab- 
Sheemool-ool Oomrah Amir-i-Kabir Bahadoor ! 

Sir Salar Jung is a notable instance of the difficulties with 
which an educated native has to contend. He is a most able 
administrator, — that is allowed by all sides, — but he is not a suc- 
cessful diplomat. Now this is not Sir Salar's fault. He fights us in 
diplomacy as a native, and according to native ideas ; but he talks 
English so well, and is so English in his seeming habits, that the 
English officials who have to deal with him are apt to treat him 
as though he were an Englishman. When, therefore, he commits 
a fault in our eyes, everybody is aghast, forgetting that in the eyes 
of the native what we consider a fault is not a fault, but even 
a merit. To get the better of an adversary by whatever means 
you can devise is the natives' idea. Truth, honour, consistency, 
these are English virtues, and to the natives incomprehensible. 
Not that I wish to accuse Sir Salar of any want of truth, but only 
of that suppleness to be found in every Oriental from Constanti- 
nople to Shanghai. The rulers of India are often of the un- 
bending class, and make no allowance for such things. 

Sir Salar is accused of a wish to get all the power into his own 
hands. " Ambition is a grievous fault, and grievously hath Salar 
answered it." I think it is only too probable that Sir Salar is 
fond of power. He has been Prime Minister since he was quite 
young. Ruling has been his only occupation, and no one can say 
he has been unsuccessful in ruling the state of Hyderabad. To 
give up this would be as death to him ; yet, if he had been a 
wise man, he would have resigned for a time, and let people see 
that this turbulent state is not so easily managed ; for Hyderabad 
is full of the descendants of all the wild Afghans, Pathans, and 
Arabs of the late Mogul Empire, who sought a field for their 
ambition here, under the Nizam-ul-Mulk. Thus, among the nobles 
that followed the Nizam to Delhi last year, I find many Arabs, 
and one Hindoo rajah. Sir Salar Jung himself is a pure Arab. 



3i6 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



He told me that his ancestors came from between Jerusalem and 
Damascus. In the old days all these Arabs had armies of re- 
tainers, who always went armed, and were ever ready for a law- 
less act. Now, Sir Salar has acquired such a supremacy over 
them, that they are quiet ; but, his influence once removed, they 
would quickly revert to their old ways. Two of the most power- 
ful of these Arab chiefs Sir Salar took with him to England, to 
be sure of them during his absence. One is since dead ; the 
other, an old gentleman of past eighty, I saw. He was much 
pleased at the notice' the Pope Pio Nono had accorded him. He 
was just of the same age as His Holiness. 

As a curious instance of the state of the society at Hyderabad, 
take this story. During the lifetime of the late Nizam, who 

hated Sir Salar, there was as Resident a certain Col. D . Now, 

the Nizam was anxious to oust the Minister, and naturally wished 
to have the support of the Resident in doing so. 

One day a lady, calling herself Mrs. D , put herself in 

communication with the Nizam, through the Amir-i-Kabir, and 
promised to use her influence. She was told to call again, and, 
doing so, left with a carriage-full of rupees, when, to the horror 
of the conspirators, it was discovered that the lady was the wife 
of a chemist, who had dressed up as the Resident's wife, and had 
walked off with the rupees. This story was one of the reasons 
given for not employing this Amir-i-Kabir ; but the thing hap- 
pened many years ago, and if attempts at bribery were to be a 
bar to public employment in native states, even Sir Salar might 
have to plead guilty. 

Etiquette is very strict here. The amount of bowing and 
salaaming at the Minister's is most embarrassing. A younger 
brother is not allowed to sit in the presence of his elder, and 
salaams to the ground on coming into the room. I have been 
told that at the Nizam's Court when a boy is born, eight wet- 
nurses are chosen for him, and generally succeed in killing him 
with over-nourishment, as might be expected. The late Nizam 
died in a singular and most distressing way. He had a disease, 
not dangerous of itself, but one which rendered a slight opera- 



HYDERABAD. 



tion necessary ; but he funked. He had all the people of the 
city who were afflicted with the same disease brought to him and 
operated on in his presence; yet he could not make up his mind, 
and at last mortification set in, and he died miserably. 

This story of the etiquette of the Nizam's Court will, I hope, 
prove interesting. When the Nizam was paying a visit to Gol- 
conda, he, boy-like, ran into Sir Salar Jung's room, and found 
the Minister taking a siesta. The Minister had taken off" his 
girdle ! Now, to be in the Nizam's company without a girdle is 
a heinous offence, and the Minister at once handed over to the 
little Nizam fifteen gold mohiirs. The next morning he sent 
him 1,500 rupees to complete the fine! What do you think they 
call this girdle, which is generally a golden kind of sword-belt ? 
Buggelas, which they say is an English word. Can it be derived 
from " buckles " ? 

The Hyderabadists are, like all natives, mad on the subject of 
glass chandeliers. They have them even in the mosques, and 
when they are tied up in muslin bags they have anything but a 
religious look, but rather as if the family were out of town. 

Golconda, which raises in one's mind visions of diamond mines, 
is a town about six miles from Hyderabad, and is the state prison. 
Europeans are jealously excluded from its sacred precincts, 
except when the Nizam is there ; and as the Nizam never goes 
there, except once, at the commencement of his reign, or when 
consigned there as a prisoner, I do not suppose any European 
had ever been there before the Resident and Captain Clarke, the 
other day. There is nothing, they tell me, inside. The outside, 
which I visited one morning, presents the appearance of a forti- 
fied hill, of which I made a sketch. As a fortress, now-a-days, 
it will be quite useless. The tombs about which I had heard 
so much are veritable whited sepulchres, and not worth a visit. 

On Wednesday, 5th December, the Nizam left Hyderabad 
for an outing. He wished to show his grandmother, who was 
too ill to go to Delhi with him, what the railway was like ; so 
he got permission, not without difficulty, to go to a garden he 
has at Puttemcheroo out -station, along the Hyderabad and 



3i8 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



Bombay Railway. And what a set-out it was, all to give plea- 
sure to an old woman and a boy ! There was a special train 
of sixteen carriages, for the Minister and most of the Court 
went out, as a matter of course. The station was crowded 
with the great ones of the country, all with pistols, swords, and 
daggers. I went also to say good bye and see the little man off. 
The ladies had to get in at a station of their own, far removed 
from the vulgar gaze. They were late, of course ; but, after an 
hour's waiting, drums beat, trumpets sound, and in walks the 
little Azure with great dignity, amid the low salaams of the 
notables. He shakes hands condescendingly with me, but is evi- 
dently greatly excited. Three saloon carriages, full of ladies, are 
hooked on, and off goes the train. And so I bad adieu to the 
Nizam and drove off to Bolaram, where I was hospitably enter- 
tained by the Resident, and polished off his portrait in three days. 
Then I started for Bombay, and after thirty hours' rail arrived at 
that centre of commerce. Again I am entertained by my good 
friend Melvill, whose hospitality is unbounded. I left him just 
a year ago, and return to find the Buganvilliers again in full 
bloom, and everything as it was when I was last here ; and yet 
what a lot have I seen since then ! I find sixty-seven names of 
places marked on my pocket-book as visited within the year ! 
I have been seventy days and forty nights travelling in different 
conveyances — more than two months of my life ! This " gives to 
think," as the French say. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



NOWSAREE — BOMBAY. 

I DO not remain in Bombay. On the 12th I leave for Now- 
saree, where I am to paint the Gaekwar. It is not a long 
journey, but the train is slow. I start at 6.30 a.m., and arrive at 
5.40. The railway, besides being slow, is most inhospitable, for 
during the whole of that time there is no station at which one 
can feed, and having brought no food with me, I find myself 
breakfasting at 6.30 p.m. It was, however, cool. In Bombay I 
shall never forget Melvill's astonished observation : " Why, the 
thermometer only reaches sixty-five degrees : I never remember 
it so low ! " This was at 8 a.m. 

I am rather disappointed at having to come here instead of 
painting the Gaekwar at Baroda itself I have deferred making 
studies of elephants, camels, &c,, and their trappings, since every- 
body said, "Oh, you'll find all that best at Baroda." So at 
Baroda I expected a regular orgie — a feast of colour ! and now 
I shall not get done what I wanted, for I must not delay my 
departure from India for any feast whatever. I ought to have 
known better. Always sketch while you can, and never put off 
making valuable notes because people say you can do better in 
another place. I remember I was told that the carved work 
was infinitely better at Jeypore than at Gwalior. I found the 
contrary to be the case. Possibly the barbaric splendour of 
Baroda has been exaggerated. Let me think so ! 

Nowsaree is a town, or rather large village, of some 20,000 in- 
habitants, differing from other Indian villages only in that it is 
one of the head-quarters of Parseeism. These people, the most 
industrious and money-making of all the people in India, origi- 
nally settled down somewhere here, and here they still are, in 

319 



320 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



great numbers. It is in one of their residences that I am lodged 
at present. This house is perfectly new, and rather coquettish in 
its bright yellow and blue paint. There are two largish rooms, 
both of course full of chandeliers, one on the ground floor, and one, 
with a balcony, on the first floor. Opening from the latter is a 
very small room, in which I sleep ; how a large Parsee family can 
live here I cannot imagine. There are Towers of Silence at Now- 
saree, and many grim stories about them. The following one 
was told me as perfectly authentic, the name both of the man 
and of the village in which he at present resides being given. 

It appears, then, that a certain Parsee was attacked with' some 
choleraic symptoms, and through exhaustion fell into a kind of 
syncope. His relations thought he was dead, and off he was 
carried to the Tower of Silence. The priest saw his body placed 
on the terrible grating ; the fatal door was closed ; the birds 
swooped down on their prey. But at the first plunge of those 
fearful beaks the man recovered consciousness. A terrible 
struggle ensued ; but finally he succeeded in climbing up the 
walls of his prison by ladders, which, they say, are always there, 
and he crawled back home. His family, however, would have 
nothing to say to him ; they declared the real man was dead, 
and that he was an impostor. The Parsee community, too, 
threatened to kill him if he stayed at Nowsaree, and so the poor 
wretch went forth, a beggar and an outcast. One of the neigh- 
bouring villagers, however, took pity on him, and there he lives 
at present, and, so great is the indignation his case excited 
amongst the quiet country folk, no Parsee dare show himself 
within the precincts of that sheltering village. Such is the story 
told me, and generally believed here. I do not certify to its truth. 
It may be merely the invention of the enemy, but it is curious, 
and somewhat ghastly. 

The morning after my arrival here, at 8 a.m., the Gaekwar 
came to sit. Siaji Rao Guicowar, or Gaekwar, Maharajah of 
Baroda, and future possessor of an income of ^1,100,000 a year, 
was about two years ago a common village boy. He was the 
lucky one of three who were brought up for selection to Jumna 



NOWSAREE—BOMBA Y. 



321 



Bae, the Ranee of Khundi Rao Gaekwar. To realize the extra- 
ordinary changes and sudden rises that occur in native history, 
it will be necessary first to recount the history of the Ranee. 
Jumna Bae was of good family, and, being very pretty, cap- 
tivated the heart of Khundi Rao, who married her when only 
twelve years old. If report speaks true, the Gaekwar was not 
above chastening even in public the object of his love, who 
received at least as many slaps as caresses. 

However, Khundi Rao went the way of all Gackwars, and on 
his death the Resident rather prematurely proclaimed Mulhar 
Rao, his brother, Gaekwar in his stead. This Mulhar Rao had 
the worst reputation. He had spent a good deal of his time in 
prison. At nine years old he is said to have tried to poison his 
nurse. At eighteen he tried to poison his brother, Khundi Rao 
Gaekwar. Now Khundi Rao was not over given to clemency, and 
would, had he had his own way, have got rid of his brother with- 
out scruple. But our Resident was horrified. " What, kill your 
own brother ? " he cried. 

" Why not ? " said Khundi Rao, " since he is a wild beast, and 
not fit to live ! " 

But the Resident was firm, and Mulhar Rao was sent to prison. 
After nine years, through the influence of another Resident, he 
was so far pardoned as to be allowed to join a set of fakirs. 
And so for several more years he went about with nothing on 
but a bit of string, serving the deity of his choice. People have 
told me that they have seen him go to the Resident's in this nude 
state, and put on clothes in a carriage for his interview, and after 
his talk retire again clothes-less. All this did not tame his wild 
spirit. Once he tried to force his way into the presence of his 
brother and sovereign, but was unceremoniously turned out by 
Bhao Sindia, the Minister. However, the Gaekwar had no chil- 
dren, so his brother was next in succession, and had to be acknow- 
ledged Maharajah. As Khundi Rao predicted, we rued the day he 
escaped the just punishment of his misdeeds. The Resident was, 
moreover, premature in proclaiming him Gaekwar, for shortly after 
this acknowledgment it was discovered that Jumna Bae was in a 

21 



322 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



fair way to increase the number of the Gaekwar's family. Here 
was a fix ! Mulhar Rao was told that if the child proved to be a 
boy he would have to give up his guddee. Imagine Mulhar Rao's 
feelings ! For safety's sake Jumna Bae was removed from the 
palace, and taken care of by an English lady. The Gaekwar in 
possession was furious. He used to exercise his troops round 
the house in which the Ranee lived, and fire his biggest guns 
under her window, in the hopes of producing a mishap. He is 
said to have tried poison. But in vain ! Eight months after the 
death of Khundi Rao the child was born, and reported a boy. 
Even poor Jumna Bae was told it was a boy. The Gaekwar was 
in despair. At last, however, the truth came out that it was a 
girl. The Gaekwar is reported to have danced about the room, 
and to have shied his turban to the ceiling in his joy. His one 
object then was to get hold of the mother and child, against 
whom he swore all kinds of vengeance. To the mother espe- 
cially, whose beauty excited his passions, he swore — I will not 
say what. Jumna Bae was much too wise to trust herself to the 
tender mercies of the Zenana. She escaped to Poona, and there 
lived on the magnificent sum of thirty rupees a month, allowed 
by the English. 

Mulhar Rao's subsequent proceedings all the world knows. 
How he fell a prey to the charms of Luxmee Bae, a woman of 
low caste, and some one else's wife ; how he tried to poison 
Col. Phayre, &c., &c. At last he was deposed. Then came the 
question of succession, and Jumna Bae was fetched from Poona, 
and thirty rupees a month, to assume the position of Ranee 
Regnant, and choose a Gaekwar. The present Gaekwar is her 
adopted son ; over him and the palace she rules supreme, and 
whenever she goes out or in, it is amidst the cries of her servants, 
" Wealth and happiness, Maharanee Sahib ! " and to the sound of 
" God save the Queen ! " 

The Gaekwar himself is a thick-set lad of fifteen. At first 
he looks stupid and stolid, but when you talk to him you 
quickly perceive that, though not brilliant, he is far from un- 
intelligent. He has immense determination and energy. He 




p- 323 

H.H. JUMNA BAE, MAHARANEE REGNANT OF BARODA. 



NO WSAREE-BOMBA V. 



323 



already speaks and reads English very well, and bids fair to 
be quite a model chief. He conducts his sports with the same 
energy he displays at his work. I got up one morning to see 
him wrestle. Wrestling, you must know, is a national weak- 
ness of the Gaekwars. Mulhar Rao spent prodigious sums on 
this amusement. Under the frugal administration of Sir Mad- 
hava Rao, the present Regent, this establishment has been very 
much cut down. The principal paikvdn, or wrestler, has left 
in disgust, but No. 2 still remains to teach the young Gaekwar. 
No. 2 is a very fine man, too " beefy " according to our ideas of 
training, but with enormous development of shoulders and thin 
flanks. His struggles with the Gaekwar were a most amusing 
exhibition. He groaned, as if with terrible effort ; he allowed 
himself to be thrown head over heels by the boy, and struggled 
ludicrously in his boyish grasp. Then some of the smaller boys 
came to have their lesson. It was like an enormous Newfound- 
land toying with a small terrier. He rolled them about, and 
kicked them gently over with his feet, without hurting them. 
However, the Gaekwar is a most muscular fellow, and I would 
back him against any lad of his size in his national pursuit. 

There is nothing of a palace here. The house in which Jumna 
Bae and the Gaekwar live is unusually squalid, even for a rajah's 
palace. Here, on the afternoon of my first day, I went to see the 
Ranee. We were ushered up to a tolerably well-sized room, where 
we found a tall slender woman, still very pretty. Her eyes are 
large and well formed, her nose straight, her cheek-bones rather 
wide, and her mouth large and well formed, notwithstanding 
her inveterate habit of pdn-esitmg, which has spoiled her teeth. 
Even while receiving us, when speaking, her cheek was bulged with 
a lump of /)dn. She had on a dark blue muslin sarree, through 
which one could distinctly see her olive-brown skin. Indeed, to 
the waist she was virtually naked, except that across her breasts 
she wore a rather coquettish red and gold embroidered staylette. 
Her hands and feet are unusually beautiful, even in this land of 
lovely extremities. Both are arranged with the greatest care ; 
every nail is carefully marked, where the flesh ceases to adhere 

21 — 2 



324 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



with a semicircle of henna ; and on each great toe she has two 
rings, and one on each little toe. Nevertheless, she is singularly 
free from artistic retouches. Unlike the other women I have 
seen in India, her eyes are untouched with black ; she wears no 
nose-ring ; only in the centre of her forehead there is a beauty- 
mark, a kind of tattoo, of delicate blue, and on her cheek and 
chin a single spot of the same colour ; and her jewellery, though 
handsome, is not garish or vulgar. 

Jumna Bae is still young, only twenty-five : her manners, when 
she likes, are charming ; with me she used her sweetest smiles, 
and expressed her willingness to sit as long as I liked. I hear, 
however, that she has the proverbial fickleness of her sex, and 
that she can frown as well as smile. About her there are all 
kinds of rumours, which I would rather not believe. Who in 
high position escapes the foul tongue of calumny? Tara Bae, 
her little daughter, born, as I have described, during the stormy 
times of Mulhar Rao, is a charming little creature of four or five. 
She cannot believe she is not a boy, and insists on being dressed 
like the Gaekwar. When he came here riding, she also appeared 
riding astride. 

It is not an) unusual thing for Maratha women to rise to 
power. There were two celebrated instances in the Holkar 
family, and more than one instance, too, in the royal family of 
Sattara. Many of these ladies have left reputations behind them 
which are not of the best. Tara Bae of Sattara, and Toolsah 
Bae, widow of Jeswant Rao Holkar, were both ladies of capri- 
cious tastes, who preferred to change the 

" Lilies and languors of virtue 
For the roses and raptures of vice." 

Toolsah Bae was altogether a kind of Hindoo Messalina, and, 
when she was taken and beheaded on the banks of the Seepra 
in 1 8 17, according to an eyewitness, "Not a foot stirred and not 
a voice was raised to save a woman who had never shown mercy 
to others." 

But it is pleasant to find in the annals of the Marathas an 



NOWSAREE—BOMBA Y. 



325 




TARA BAE, DAUGHTER OF HER HIGHNESS THE MAHARANEE JUMNA BAE. 

instance of a woman and a queen who may compare with any of 
her Western sisters in virtue and talent. Ahalya Bae, the account 
of whose life and reign may be read in Malcolm's " Central 
India," was the wife of the son of Mulhao Rao, the first and 
cleverest of the Holkar family. Her son, on succeeding his 
grandfather on the giiddee, proved unworthy of his parentage, 
being a kind of lunatic. When he died the direct line of the 
Holkar family failed. But Ahalya Bae, refusing to follow the 
custom of her country and adopt a boy, assumed the sovereignty 
herself, choosing Tukajee Rao to command the armies of the 
state. Tukajee styled himself " Son of Mulhar Rao Holkar," 



326 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



and called Ahalya Bae his mother ; yet she was the younger of 
the two. 

In those days (1765) the Maratha women appear to have 
" rejected the custom of the Mohammedans, which is not pre- 
scribed by any of the institutions of their religion." Ahalya Bae 
showed herself to all, and transacted all her business in person. 
Her days were divided between the affairs of state and her 
religious duties. " I deem myself answerable to God," she used 
to say, " for every exercise of power." And when urged by her 
ministers to acts of extreme severity, was wont to exclaim, " Let 
us. mortals beware how we destroy the works of the Almighty." 

Ahalya Bae reigned at Indore thirty years. She is thus de- 
scribed by Malcolm : " She was of middle stature, and very thin ; 
though at no period of her life handsome, her complexion, which 
was of dark olive, was clear ; and her countenance is described 
as having been, to the last hour of her existence, agreeable, and 
expressive of that goodness which marked every action of her 
life. She was very cheerful and seldom in anger, but when pro- 
voked by wickedness or crime, the most esteemed of her at- 
tendants trembled to approach her. The mind of this extra- 
ordinary woman had been more cultivated than is usual with 
Hindoos. She could read and understand the Puranas or sacred 
books, which were her favourite study. She is represented as 
having been singularly quick and clever in the transaction of 
business. After her husband's death she never wore coloured 
clothes or any jewels, except a small necklace, and indeed re- 
mained amid every temptation unchanged in her habits or cha- 
racter. Flattery appears to have been lost on Ahalya Bae. A 
Brahmin wrote a book in her praise, which she heard read with 
patience ; but after observing " she was a weak, sinful woman, 
and not deserving such fine encomiums," she directed it to be 
thrown into the Nerbudda, and took no further notice of its 
author. 

" A female without vanity, a bigot without intolerance, a mind 
imbued with the deepest superstition, yet receiving no impres- 
sions except what promoted the happiness of those under its 



NO WSAREE—BOMBA V. 



327 



influence ; a being exercising, in the most active and able manner, 
despotic power, not merely with sincere humility, but under the 
severest restraint that a strict conscience could impose on human 
action ; and all this combined with the greatest indulgence for the 
weakness and faults of others. Such, at least, is the account which 
the natives of Malwa give of Ahalya Bae : with them her name 
is sainted, and she is styled an Avatar, or Incarnation of the 
Divinity." 

Yet few women have had to support such sore domestic afflic- 
tions. Her husband was killed in battle when she was barely 
twenty. Her son, on being raised to the throne, went clearly 
mad, though she firmly believed him to have been possessed of 
an evil spirit. She had beside one daughter, Muchta Bae, who 
was married, and had one son, who died at Mhysir on reaching 
manhood. Twelve months afterwards his father died, and Muchta 
Bae declared immediately her intention of committing sati with 
the corpse of her husband. " No efforts (short of coercion) that 
a mother and a sovereign could use were untried by the virtuous 
Ahalya Bae to dissuade her daughter from the fatal resolution. 
She humbled herself to the dust before her, and entreated her as 
she loved her God not to leave her desolate and alone upon the 
earth. Muchta Bae, though affectionate, was calm and resolved. 

"'You are old, mother,' she said, 'and a few years will end 
your pious life. My only child and husband are gone, and when 
you follow, life I feel will be insupportable ; but the opportunity 
of terminating it with honour will then be past' " 

" Ahalya Bae, when she found all dissuasion unavailing, deter- 
mined to witness the last dreadful scene. She walked in the 
procession, and stood near the pile, where she was supported by 
two Brahmins, who held her arms. Although obviously suffering 
great agony of mind, she remained tolerably firm, till the first 
blaze of flame made her lose all self-command ; and while her 
shrieks increased the noise made by the exulting shouts of the 
multitude that stood around, she was seen to gnaw in anguish 
those hands she could not liberate from the persons by whom 
she was held. After some convulsive efforts, she so far recovered 



328 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



as to join in the ceremony of bathing in the Nerbudda, when the 
bodies were consumed."* 

Where in history shall we find a more painful scene? This 
good woman, discharging her duties to her God and her subjects, 
alone and amid such terrible affliction, has no parallel in history, 
nor indeed, as far as I know, in fiction. 

Times have changed now, and Jumna Bae has neither the 
education or the talent to rule. She tries to get as much power 
as she can over the boy Gaekwar, who, notwithstanding his dogged 
disposition, is most kind and obedient to the adopted mother who 
raised him to power. But in the state she has but little influence, 
neither do I think she has intellect enough to do anything but 
obstruct any reforms Siaji Rao may wish to carry out. With 
all that, Jumna Bae is a charming woman, although circumstances 
may prevent her ever being a great queen. I have had three 
sittings now from this lady, on the top of the house, under an 
awning. As this place is open all round, and the roof or awning 
only 7 feet 6 inches from the floor, one cannot fancy a worse light. 
Around one hears all the noises of an Indian palace, — dogs yelp- 
ing, children crying, and, what is more exasperating, tom-toms 
and flutes making a hideous row. 

Yesterday was the commemoration day of the death of Khundi 
Rao Gaekwar, and the tom-toming was incessant. Why should 
people think this objectionable noise is particularly grateful to 
Heaven? When the noise gets on your nerves at a time when 
you are endeavouring to do your best, it beats organs into fits. 

I shall be here the greater part of this (i/th December) week ; 
then to Bombay for a week, and then home. 

It is curious to spend one's time here at the Gaekwar's Court 
with men who have played a great part in the stories I have 
already told. This Court has ever been the scene of strange 
crimes. The fate of Bhao Sindia is one of the most awful on 
record. It was he who turned Mulhar Rao from his brother's 
presence. On leaving, the Gaekwar that was to be cried to the 
Minister, "You will live to rue this day!" So much did Bhao 

* Malcolm's "Central India." 



NQWSAREE—BOMBA V 



329 



Sindia dread his vengeance, that he actually tried to commit 
sati with his master's (Khundi Rao's) body. He was by force 
prevented. No sooner was Mulhar Rao on the giiddee than he 
threw his predecessor's Minister into prison. There he was fed 
on curries and highly salted and spiced food, and given only 
pepper-water to drink ; on each of his legs was fixed 200 lbs. of 
chain. The unfortunate man lingered five days, and then died 
raving mad. 

Mulhar Rao was altogether a lunatic. His brother, Khundi 
Rao, had during his reign built an additional storey to part of 
the palace, and mounted silver guns thereon. Mulhar Rao, not 
to be outdone, had a still higher storey built, and gold guns. His 
extravagance was most unbounded, but then so was his brother's, 
and the Residents would not believe in his madness till after the 
celebrated attempt to poison Colonel Phayre, Poisoning was 
common enough at Court, — in fact, traditional in the ruling family. 
Grim stories have been told of former Gaekwars. One fell a 
victim to toxicology, and poisoned himself in his laboratory con- 
cocting poisons for his enemies. Former residents have had their 
lives attempted. Sir James Outram, not a nervous man, always 
thought he liad been poisoned at Baroda. One resident died 
under most suspicious circumstances. He had insulted the Gaek- 
war ; he had refused to salaam to Gunputti.* Now, Baroda is a 
very pious place — in fact, it is called by some "The Place of 
Prayers," and Gunputti is the God of Baroda. Once a year, at 
the feast of Gunputti, the Gaekwar makes a grand procession in 
honour of his family deity. On that day it had been customary 
for the Resident to hold a parade of all the troops ; and as the 
Gaekwar and Gunputti passed on the same elephant, the troops 
and the Resident saluted. Now, as the Gaekwar on this par- 
ticular occasion was only playing second fiddle to Gunputti, the 

* As far as I can ascertain from Moore's "Pantheon of the Hindoos," 
this deity is probably Gangaputri, whose birth is recorded in the above book 
in a minute but very unsatisfactory manner. That his father was Siva is 
clear ; his mother is more than doubtful. He was nursed by six rajahs' 
daughters at the same time, and finally overthrew, after a fight of ten days, 
Tripurasura. — See Moore's "Pantheon," p. 53. 



330 



IMPERIAL INDIA, 



people of Baroda thought that the British Power was saluting 
their particular god. This a certain Resident — I forget his name 
— refused to do. The day after a holy man went to the then 
Gaekwar, and said that by prayers and magic he would destroy 
the Resident in three days. The Gaekwar was delighted, and, 
strange to say, on the third day the Resident was found dead in 
his bed — from apoplexy, the doctors said. The son of this holy 
man enjoys an estate of 20,000 rupees a year, settled on his father 
by the grateful chief. 

This yearly worship of Gunputti has been a very sore trial to 
many consciences, and has now happily been stopped. The 
Gaekwar is made to leave the religious procession, and receive 
the salute of the troops in his own person. 

As a pendent to the above story, let me here relate a tale that 
was told me in the Punjab, and very well authenticated. Some 
miles from Peshawur, on our side of the frontier, lies the town 
of Nowshera. Peshawur being most unhealthy during certain 
months of the year, the authorities decided to quarter certain 
regiments at Nowshera. These troops were accordingly marched 
down. Barracks were built for the troops, but the officers found 
it difficult to provide themselves with fitting quarters. The doctor 
of the regiment and two of the officers determined, therefore, to 
build a bungalow where they could all three chum together. 
They chose a site on the banks of the river, where on a small 
mound they found a pleasant clump of trees around an old tomb. 
Forthwith they proceeded to have the site cleared. The second 
day an old Moslem fakir presented himself, and asked to see 
the doctor sahib who was superintending the operations. 

" Are you aware," said the fakir, that you are defiling the 
bones of a saint ?— that the tomb you are about to remove be- 
longs to one beloved of the Prophet ? " 

The doctor sahib laughed, and said that he was not aware of 
the fact, but that the bones of the holy man were safe, and 
should not be disturbed ; only the tomb must be moved. 

" But the impiety of the act ! " cried the fakir. 

The doctor shrugged his shoulders. 



NO WSAREE—BOMBA V. 



"Will you take money? I will buy the ground — pay any- 
thing to prevent the bones of the saint being moved." 

But the doctor replied that this was the only healthy site he 
could find for his house, that he was very sorry, but the tomb 
must be moved. 

Whereupon the fakir lost his temper, and cursed the three 
sahibs^ their comings in and goings out, — cursed their house 
and all that was theirs, and departed, shaking off the dust from 
his feet, amid the smiles of the soldiers. 

Within the year one of these officers was killed playing polo. 
A short time after, the second was thrown from his buggy, and 
broke his neck. The doctor was ordered down to Allahabad ; 
there, whilst canoeing with a friend, their canoes were upset. 
Now, the doctor was a splendid swimmer, and he and his friend 
struck out for the shore laughing. The friend landed safely, 
but the doctor, when within a few yards from the shore, threw up 
his hands and disappeared for ever ! 

A year or two after there was a flood at Nowshera. The 
swollen river wore out the bank on which the ill-fated house 
stood, and while the man who told me this story was looking on 
with some brother officers, suddenly the bank gave way, and the 
house and all therein was swept away ! 

This was a strange story, to say the least. 

The sums of money squandered on jewels by these Baroda 
chiefs is almost incredible. The necklace of diamonds I painted 
around Siaji Rao's neck cost 40 lacs, or ;^400,000. The pearls 
are almost as valuable, several strings being as big as pigeons' 
eggs, and of fairish colour. Every time these jewels are seen or 
put on, the attendants count them with the greatest care, and 
Sir Madhwa Rao has had them all examined and registered, to 
prevent their being changed for false. 

Rousselet, in his " Rajahs of India," describes the procession — 
at which he assisted — of the Gaekwar, after his purchase of the 
celebrated diamond known as the " Star of the North," which 
forms the centre stone of this necklace. The stone was carried 
to the Temple of Gunputti, and there dedicated to that deity. 



332 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



before the Maharajah would wear it. It cost ^90,000. The flat 
diamond, shaped like a heart, immediately underneath is called 
the " Star of Dresden." It cost ^^45,000. 

My sittings from the Ranee were rather amusing. She is 
utterly uneducated, and can hardly read. Of course she does 
not talk English. To translate I had the " Master Sahib," who 
tried to teach Khundi Rao English long ago. He is poetic. 
One day, bowing to the Ranee, he recited some Maratha poetry, 
which was thus translated for me : " See all the trees, how tall 
they are ; but the palm is the tallest of trees ! " The palm was 
of course the Ranee. And so I amused myself by talking in the 
same strain : " To-morrow, I regret to say, my happiness comes 
to an end, for I must leave the presence of beauty." 

" Why don't you stop " 

" The crow must fly back to his home in the jungle, and strive 
to forget that it has perched on the steps of the throne." 

All very foolish ! But it was very hot ; the beads of perspiration 
would run down my nose, and those wretched tom-toms would 
continue their cursed row, so that foolishness was permissible. 

I showed my picture of the Gaekwar to the Maharanee. It is 
a profile. 

" Why, you Ve only given one eye ! " was the intelligent re- 
mark ; " and why have you only shown two strings of pearls from 
the tassel of his piigree f " 

" The rest are on the other side." 

" Well, I suppose it is all right, you ought to know ; but — 
but " 

I saw she was not satisfied, and preferred her own picture, 
which, being full-face, has two eyes. 

I left Nowsaree and the Maharanee on the 21st, and on the 
morning of the 22nd safely reached Bombay. 

Christmas at Bombay is indeed different from Christmas in 
England. Instead of snow, frost, and rain, here all is sunshine 
and warmth. But the warmth does not add to the homeliness. 
Here you have seldom the pleasant prattle of children, the mad 
scamper of restless youth, or the merry laugh that shows the 



H.H. blAJI KAO, GAEKWAR (oR GUICOVVAR), MAHARAJAH OF BARODA. 



NOWSAREE—BOMBA Y. 



333 



mind free from cares. Still, the English in Bombay do their 
best to keep the festive season, and if they do it sadly after the 
manner of their countrymen, 't is often that their minds are far 
away in the old country; where children are drinking the healths 
of their absent parents, who have become sometimes little more 
than a name, or old people are thinking that one more Christmas 
is gone cf the many that must pass before their loved one's re- 
turn. Yet are the shops full of purchasers, and many a plum 
pudding is joyfully eaten in loving recollection of those that time 
has long since digested. I ate mine at my good friend Melvill's, 
and to me it is indeed a glad season, for now I may count my 
days before my return home. I have painted all the rajahs and 
chiefs on my list but one, and he, I know, is in Bombay waiting 
to be painted. My passage too is taken, and I seem to see a 
look in my good friend's eyes of kindly envy. 

" Lucky fellow ! " they^say, " you are going home." 

Home ! Who can appreciate home so well as those who are 
absent ? And in India what magic there is in the word ! 

I hope I do not triumph too much in my approaching de- 
parture, or talk too much of what I shall do, &c. But talk I 
assuredly do ; and the kind friends who keep Christmas with 
me, bear with me, knowing the sensations which prompt me to 
talk, and laugh, and be boisterous, and which they too have in- 
dulged in ; and when my last rajah arrives, I confess it is with 
difficulty I fix my mind on my work. 

Rajah Jeswant Sing, of Ratlam, is a Rahtor descended from 
the seventh son of Oodi Sing, who ruled in Marwar in 1 569. 
Rutna, the grandson of Oodi Sing, was the founder of the state 
of Rutlam. He had all the pluck of his family. At the battle 
of Futtehabad, fought between Jeswant Sing of Marwar in de- 
fence of the aged Shah Jehan against his rebel sons Aurungzebe 
and Morad, the doings of Rutna are " wreathed in immortal 
rhyme" in the "Rasa Rao Rutna." On that day well did the 
Rahtors maintain their reputation for courage and the fidelity 
{swam dJiermd) they .owed the Emperor "whose salt they ate." 
The battle was gained through the desertion of the Mogul horse, 



334 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



who were bribed by the wily Aurungzebe ; but, if courage were 
to decide a battle, the day would have ended in favour of the 
Rajpoots, who never lost an inch of ground, though they could 
not force back the vastly superior numbers of the enemy. 

Jeswant next day retreated. But, on arriving at Jodhpore, "I 
(Bernier) cannot forbear to relate the fierce reception which the 
daughter of the Rana (of Oodeypore) gave to her husband, Jes- 
want Sing, when she heard he was nigh, and had understood what 
had passed in the battle : that he had fought with all possible 
courage; that he had but 400 of 500 men left ; and at last, being 
no longer able to resist, had been forced to retreat. Instead of 
sending some one to condole him in his misfortunes, she com- 
manded, in a dry mood, to shut the gates of the castle, and not to 
let this infamous man enter ; that he was not her husband ; that 
the son-in-law of the Great Rana could not have so mean a soul ; 
that he was to remember that being grafted into so illustrious a 
house, he was to imitate its virtue ; in a word, he was to vanquish 
or to die ! A moment after she was of a different humour. She 
commanded a pile of wood to be laid, that she might burn her- 
self ; that they abused her ; that her husband must be dead ; that 
it could not be otherwise. And a little while after she seemed to 
change countenance, to fall into a passion, and break into a thou- 
sand reproaches against him. In short, she remained thus trans- 
ported eight or nine days without being able to resolve to see her 
husband ; till, at last, her mother coming, brought her in time to 
herself, comforted her by assuring her that, as soon as the Rajah 
had but refreshed himself, he would raise another army to fight 
Aurungzebe and repair his honour." Thus writes Bernier, who 
witnessed this battle ; and he adds, " By which story one may 
see a pattern of the courage of the women of that country." 

Jeswant Sing of Rutlam, who is the head of the Rajpoots of 
Malwa, may have a soul as great as his kinsman of Marwar. He 
is in person a stout youth of sixteen, with rather aquiline features, 
without much of what we painters call character in his face. He 
has an enormous and most elaborate piigree, which he says was 
invented by his grandfather, and which is heaped up with all 



NOWSAREE—BOMBA V. 



335 



kinds of jewels and ornaments. He tells me it takes two hours 
to tie ! Salar Jung's simple pugree took twenty minutes. No 
wonder Orientals cannot take off their hats. 

I got a very good photograph done of this young man, which, 
with my somewhat hurried sketch, will suffice for my picture. 
And so having finished my work on the last day of the year 1 877, 
I embarked on board the good ship Gwalior. I was taken on 
board by my friends, and as the screw of the Gwalior commenced 
to beat the waves, the dull thuds that vibrated through the ship 
struck me with regret at parting with so many good people, 
whom I may never perchance see again to return the innumerable 
kindnesses I have received during my year's travel in India. But 
the thoughts of home quickly dissipate any such sentiments, and 
after one look at Bombay, dark against the setting sun, where I 
see lights twinkling, perhaps in well-known houses, I turn to gaze 
on the watery track that leads to those I love. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 



IMPRESSIONS. 



ELL, and how did you like India?" This question has 



yet I have never been able to answer it with satisfaction to my- 
self. I feel, however, that the reader who has waded through the 
previous chapters of this book, whom in consequence I regard as 
a personal friend, may perchance wish to ask the same question ; 
nor will he be satisfied with the " Very much indeed," or " It 's a 
wonderful country ! " which sometimes has proved enough for 
mere acquaintances. " How do you like being Prince of Wales 
as far as you 've got ? " asks Artemus Ward, but H.R.H. does not 
give a very satisfactory answer, if I remember right ; had he done 
so, I might have moulded this chapter on an august model. 

Everybody is accustomed to the observation, " India is a vast 
place," but few can form any idea of its vastness till they have 
travelled across the continent that we English have somehow 
acquired. Do Englishmen realize the fact that it takes as long 
to travel from Bombay to Delhi by rail as from London to Brin- 
disi, and from Bombay to Mysore as long again ? Yet neither 
Mysore nor Delhi are the limits of our empire ! And the races 
who inhabit this vast region are quite as different in their habits 
as those through whose country you pass in a tour across Europe. 

I have, however, striven in my journals to convey some idea of 
the kind of people found in India. Exclusive as is a Hindoo by 
caste, feeling, and prejudice, it is difficult to arrive at a knowledge 
of his real sentiments. An Englishman and a" W^/^" can never 
hope thoroughly to penetrate the thick veil that surrounds the 
domestic life of Natives, and it is only by their writings and 




been asked me very often since I returned home, and 



336 



IMPRESSIONS. 



337 



their actions in contact with Europeans that he can judge at all- 
of their characters. It is for this reason that I have very copiously 
quoted from Tod's translation of the Rajpoot traditions, for these 
have more domestic details than the wild legends of the Ramayana 
and Mahabharata and earlier books of Hindoo literature. From 
careful study of these legends and of more recent history, and 
from observation during my travels, I have tried to arrive at some 
conclusions which I venture now to submit to the public, with, I 
own, considerable fear lest I may be put down as a prig by those 
whose longer stay in the country ought to have given them more 
opportunities of study. 

Of course the difference of religion has produced a difference 
in habit and character. The Moslem has still some of the swagger 
of a ruling race, some of the confidence always found in the 
followers of the creed of Mohammed. But with the exception of 
the province of Hyderabad, where, under the able rule of Sir Salar 
Jung, a Moslem state flourishes, I could not but observe that the 
star. of the Prophet is on the wane. Already the Maratha and 
the Sikh assert their equality in military prowess to the Afghan 
and Pathan, while in administrative capacity I fancy there are 
at least five Hindoos in high position to one Moslem. As lawyers 
the Hindoos are pre-eminent, and as money-makers — bankers 
and general dealers — the Hindoo and Parsee are far ahead of 
the Mohammedan. 

But in all Indians I have noticed a singular and childish un- 
thoroughness, and in turning to history the same quality must 
strike a careful observer. With intellectual activity of the highest 
order, and with brains capable of understanding the subtlest 
reasoning and the nicest and most delicate quibbles of law, I 
should doubt any Indian's capacity for large views on any subject. 
Their diplomacy is so much infused with cunning as to frequently 
defeat itself ; while their actions are hampered by a suspiciousness 
beyond that of any other Oriental. Their intellect seems to me 
that of a precocious child, their astuteness childish cunning, their 
suspicious disposition almost feminine. More than once the 
most transparent tricks have been resorted to in order to break 

22 



338 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



up the strongest confederacies. Several times in history the 
Mogul power was checked, but the advantage lost through a false 
idea of treachery. A forged letter or even a word has saved the 
great empire of the Mogul in the hour of danger. The emperors 
of that house were adepts in treachery ; by it they triumphed 
over the valour of the Rajpoots ; Baber, the founder of the 
dynasty, employed it against Sanga of Mewar ; and Aurungzebe, 
the cleverest of the house, was such an adept at deceit that 
Machiavelli was a child to him. His rise to the throne is one 
of the most extraordinary stories on record, and during a long 
reign he never forgot to employ treachery rather than force. 

We have seen how the dread cry of " Nous sommes trahis ! " 
demoralized a high-spirited and chivalrous nation. With the 
native the idea of treachery is ever present, and his imaginative 
temperament works the vaguest apprehensions up to the point of 
madness. Thus childish suspicions and proneness to intrigue 
seem to be in the blood of the nation ; and as disloyalty and 
deceit, when successful, are always applauded by the national 
chroniclers, what wonder if a dread of treachery should always 
be before the eyes of the native t It is by the ideal characters, 
founded no doubt on truth, but embellished by the poet in song, 
ballad, and legend, that the character of a nation is founded. 
The inventions of the Round Table, the Lancelots, Tristrams, 
and Galahads of chivalry, produced their echoes in Chevalier 
Bayard and Sir Philip Sidney, and did much to raise mediaeval 
Europe from the depth of barbarism. But Christianity tempered 
the warlike spirit of Europe, and if we wish to find a parallel 
for the traditions of India, we must look rather to the Northern 
legends, in which, amidst much that is fine and even tender, there 
is many an instance of unaccountable want of faith and cruel 
and indiscriminate slaughter. Fancy what Europe would have 
been without chivalry, which was the result of the influence of 
Christianity engrafted on Northern poetry, and you can imagine 
the state of morality in India ! 

And if we come down to later history, we shall find the same 
characteristics, for we must not forget that though brought in 



IMPRESSIONS. 



339 



contact with the civiUzation of the west, the state of India at 
the present day is hardly in advance of that of Europe in the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The Mutiny furnished in- 
stances innumerable of this childish inconsistency, which was 
in many instances the result of fear of treachery. No doubt, the 
first regiments that mutinied were misled by artful instigators 
of treason. They were told about the famous greased cartridges ; 
they were informed of the prophecy after the battle of Plassy, 
which limited the Raj of the East India Company to one hundred 
years ; and they mutinied. But read the history of the rising 
of succeeding regiments, and see how in nearly every case it was 
fear of the treachery of the sahib that drove them to rebellion. 
The Poorbeah Sepoys of the time were, no doubt, a mutinous 
body of troops. To keep up the physique of the men they were 
recruited from the high-caste natives of Oude, and everything 
was conceded by their officers to their caste prejudices. That 
such men, brought up and nursed in all the traditions of the 
Hindoos, should treacherously sacrifice their English officers is 
not to be wondered at, since there are twenty instances at least 
of the like act of perfidy in the traditions which form the sole 
literature of the country. 

When not under the influence of fear, the native is most easily 
governed. There is no nation imbued with a greater respect for 
the power over them, and assuredly no nation contented with 
so little apparent prosperity. Go but to any fair or religious 
gathering, and see the merry chattering crowd streaming along 
the road. From every man you receive a salaam and a joyous 
greeting, yet his worldly lot is livelong toil, and his wealth con- 
sists in his dJiotie or loin-cloth, and the few ornaments in the ears 
and nose, and round the ankles and wrists of his wife, who 
marches contentedly behind him. But the Indian, though docile 
in the extreme, has the makings of a tyrant within him. Your 
servant is mild and obedient to you, and seems to have no spirit 
in his brown breast. Take some more servants into your 
employ, and place your mild friend over them, and see what a 
Frankenstein you have raised. He will beat and bully them all 

22 — 2 



340 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



round, no matter what their size or strength. Yojar authority is 
on his side, and that is enough. 

Again, insult or imagined insult works a native up to madness^ 
Instances without number may be found in native history where 
insults have produced sad results. I have mentioned the contest 
between Jeichund and Pirthi Raj through an imagined affront to 
the last, which quarrel led to the subjugation of India by the 
Moslem. Oodeypore and Marwar were at war for a lengthened 
period because the Rana refused to eat with the chief of the 
Rahtors. Marwar and Jeypore rushed to arms through a joke; 
and although many times the chivalrous Rajpoot shed his best 
blood for his salt, often at the last moment has the whole wing 
of an army refused to fight on account of an imagined slight 
on its chief Frequently I fancy the Englishman quite uninten- 
tionally gives the direst offence. I do not mean abuse to ser- 
vants, and such-like : abuse to them, or indeed to any inferior, is 
natural enough, and to call them the " sons of owls " or " hens," 
or even worse, is what they are accustomed to even from their 
native superiors. But a native gentleman's ways are not our 
ways, and to his ideas the commonest conventionalities of our 
civilization are the grossest barbarisms. The use of a fork or 
spoon, or glass, that any one else has used, to the Hindoo is 
unspeakable horror. These matters will right themselves in the 
course of time. But breaches of etiquette, no doubt, occur, and 
though not noticed at the moment, rankle in the breast of the 
native for a long time. 

One of the drollest occasions of unintentional offence I quote 
from Sir Thomas Roe. Jehanghire playfully seized all the sup- 
plies of presents sent out from England to Sir Thomas, and had 
all the boxes opened in his presence, that he might see what 
he liked to have presented to him. He " caused a chest of 
pictures to be brought, which were taken out ; and there being 
among them one of a Venus leading a satyr by the nose, he 
showed it to all around him, bidding them to expound the sig- 
nification of it, observing the satyr's horns, the blackness of his 
skin, and other particulars. Every man spoke as he thought, but 



IMPRESSIONS. 



the King liked none of their expositions, yet reserved his own 
thoughts, and asked me what it meant. I told him it was only 
a painter's fancy. Whereupon he said, ' Why do you bring me 
what you do not understand ? ' . . . And by what he said I 
had ground to believe he thought that the picture was made in 
derision of the people of Asia, whom he thought to be represented 
by the satyr, as being of their complexion ; and that the Venus 
leading him by the nose denoted the great power the women of 
that country have over the men. This I relate for the informa- 
tion of the gentlemen of the East India Company, and of all that 
shall hereafter come in my place, and advise them for the future 
not to send into those parts things that may be liable to an ill 
construction, for those people are very jealousr 

On their religion Indians are very sensitive. There appears to 
be something in the air of India that leads to bigotry. The 
Hindoo is the strictest religionist. The smallest sin against the law 
of the Brahmin is visited by the terrible gods of the country with 
condign punishment, while in Hindoo states the prejudice against 
many acts that are necessary for the existence and well-being of 
the European is very powerful. I have seen a whole village turn 
out at the slaughter of a peacock or a blue jay. To kill a cow or 
bull is a crime which even an educated Hindoo would consider 
worthy of death. The Rajah of Jheend, an enlightened ruler, 
would cut off the hand that slew a neilghau or wild blue bull, and 
these prejudices are retained by many even after the society of 
the sahib has become familiar to them. I have been told of an 
eminent lawyer (Hindoo) in Calcutta, who, on seeing that his 
refusal of beef was noticed, said that he had long since overcome 
his religious prejudice against eaters of beef, but he had still a 
horror of that animal such as a Jew would have against pork 
But it is not only the Hindoo who is intolerant and bigoted ; the 
Mohammedan of India is ten times as strict as any Turk I ever 
saw. When their religious enthusiasm is roused, either the Hindoo 
or the Moslem is capable of any suffering, which is looked on as 
a martyrdom. What they will bear for their religion is con- 
stantly brought before the eyes of the traveller in the frequent 



342 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



self-tortures and self-mutilations met with at every turn. The 
wealthy and great, even rajahs, will retire from the enjoyments of 
life, and lead the lives of veritable ascetics. Men of both religions 
were shot away from cannon during the Mutiny when they thought 
they were martyrs to their faith, without showing, even at the last 
moment, the slightest signs of fear. I have had these terrible 
scenes described to me by eye-witnesses, who assured me that the 
culprit who was about to be blown to atoms would lean with the 
greatest nonchalance against the muzzle of the cannon, and was 
by far the least moved of those present. 

This is, then, the character of the native : childishly inconsis- 
tent, fickle, and cunning, easily elated by power, accessible to 
flattery but prone to take offence, bearing anything at times from 
those put over him, and capable of the sternest fortitude in the 
exercise of his religion, brave to foolhardiness yet prone to the 
most unaccountable panics, trusting everything to the ministers 
of his religion, yet placing no confidence in his fellow-man, ever 
fearing treachery and ingratitude. 

That we English, few in number, and living so many thousand 
miles off, should have acquired this vast empire is one of the 
marvels of history. The secret lies in the contrast we present in 
our characters. We are the complement of the native. We owe 
our success to the squareness and solidity of our character, in 
every way the reverse of the fickle and treacherous nature of the 
native. Our thoroughness inspires his respect. He believes in 
our honesty — he has every reason to trust our courage. We give 
him peace such as he never enjoyed before, and insure his having 
justice, even against the great. There is no power that can take 
our place in the country. If we were to go, the flames of war 
would light India from the Himalaya to Cape Cormorin. I have 
talked with eminent natives on this subject, and they have always 
said, " It is peace that our nation wants. We have had no time 
to develope ; we want education and knowledge," And they 
make little secret of their opinion, that when they have acquired 
knowleged and education we shall have to leave the country. 
Such is native gratitude 



IMPRESSIONS. 



343 



The mass of the people are contented with our rule, which they 
regard as an accomplished fact. They think we have been sent 
to govern them by the Gods. The belief of the Hindoo, or 
rather the Vishnavas, the mass of the people, is that from the 
beginning of the world Vishnu has ever, on being roused, thrown 
his spirit into some human form, who becomes an oudtar'' or 
avatar of the deity, an inspired person, whose spirit on his death 
returns to the God. There are many of these avatars which are 
puerile enough, — the snake, the fish, the tortoise, the man-lion, 
the dwarf, the bull. All these probably denote the absorption of 
so many religions into the Brahminical creed.* The last, the most 
famous '^avatars' were Rama, Khrishna, and Buddha. Many 
Brahmins preach a fresh avatar " the Raj of the English." This 
has been solemnly stated to me as the received belief of the 
larger number of Hindoos, and no doubt is a great strength to 
our power. 

But we derive a greater hold from the divisions that exist 
amongst the people themselves. I cannot think that we English 
are loved, but the orthodox Hindoo hates us less than he hates 
the dissenting Sikh, and both have many reasons for preferring 
our rule to the rule of the Moslem. Aurungzebe's bigotry led the 
way to the fall of the Mogul. It was the institution of the jezeya, 
or capitation grant on all Brahmins and Hindoo devotees, that 
alienated the affection of the Rajpoot princes who were allies to 
the imperial family. It roused an intolerance among the Hin- 
doosf that was foreign to their disposition. Their religion rather 
aimed at absorbing all the religions of the world. Their priests 
insist that both Mohammed and the Founder of our religion were 
alike incarnations of Vishnu. But persecution sowed the seeds 
of a hatred between the Moslems and Hindoos which is not yet 
effaced, and which, if we are wise, ought to strengthen our hands 
for many a year to come. 

* The Brahmins convert whole tribes of the aboriginal Bheels and Shenas 
by incorporating their favourite idol into the circle of Hindoo Gods ; they 
say such idols were no doubt incarnations of Vishnu. See Benares, p. 274. 

f See Appendix II. 



344 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



There is one side of the native's character that I have not 
noticed — his extreme and feminine gentleness. With children 
he is most admirable. In the South of Europe the same gentle- 
ness is found, but throughout India I have observed it in high and 
low. Most people must have noticed in the streets of London 
the native man-servant carrying a small child. In India every- 
where the man-servant looks after the children from the moment 
they leave the wet-nurse. Their devotion to their charges is 
perfectly wonderful. As a general rule, English children in India 
are unruly brats, wilful to a degree, and a severe tax on the best 
of tempers. Yet the bearer, often a high-caste Hindoo, will watch 
over them and humour them with a gentleness that is entirely 
foreign to the Northern nature. In his relation to his master, too, 
the Indian servant often shows the most affectionate solicitude, 
and he who would cheat and pilfer on other occasions will, when 
his master is ailing, prove the most gentle and faithful of nurses. 
I have seen the youthful rajahs and princes with their tutors, and 
their affection — nay, tenderness — for some of these officers has 
been a convincing proof of the depth of the native character. 
Instances without number occurred during the Mutiny of personal 
influence exercised over the native by the European. A strange 
kind of mesmeric power was possessed by men like Nicholson, 
which the softer nature of the Hindoo seemed unable to resist. 
To such men the natives would always be true and loyal. Their 
affection for them is that of a child to its parent. 

I have seen it frequently stated that we rule in India by the 
sword alone. No man can readily believe that the few hundred 
Europeans in India can hold in subjection the 240,000,000 natives 
except by force. No doubt our sway has originated in conquest, 
and what empire has not ? No doubt after the Mutiny we gave 
the Indian nation a severe lesson. The sword of England was 
heavy on the wrong-doer. Our justice was rather that of the 
terrible Gods of the country than of that Deity whose attribute is 
mercy. But it is not by the sword alone that we rule. The 
Moguls had the power of the sword. They had the means to 
•strike, and struck sharply and without sparing; but during their 



IMPRESSIONS. 



345 



reign, lasting over two hundred years, there was no peace, neither 
did their power extend over nearly so much of the country as 
the Viceroy rules. Therefore, I am inclined to think with Sir 
James Stephen that we govern more by justice than by the 
sword. It is the moral force of our rule rather than the physical 
that maintains our authority. It is the high character of the 
nation that enables an Englishman to travel through the country 
as I did, and as any other Englishman can do, alone, unarmed, 
and without speaking the language. And this character we 
owe to the men who have governed, and still govern, the 
country. 

Surely in this we English have something to be proud of. 
History has no parallel to our rule in India. The Romans ruled 
over an equal extent of country, and in somewhat the same way; 
but the Roman official was too prone to make hay while the sun 
of office was bright. No doubt the early English administrators 
did likewise. Ill paid, and amid a population with whom bribery 
was an institution, themselves more or less adventurers, our first 
officers in India retired with wealth sufficient to make the word 
Nabob a proverb. But for the last hundred years, ever since the 
English rule has been consolidated, the English official has been 
without reproach. With every facility, amid every temptation, 
the name of an Englishman is still in India a synonym for honesty 
and truth. During those hundred years the number of those who 
have fallen to temptation would not equal the number of one's 
fingers ; and if an Englishman wishes to feel that his nation is 
something in the world, if he wishes to have the sensation of 
pride of the Roman, whose greatest boast was civis Romanics 
sum!' let him go to India, where all that is great and noble is 
associated with the name of England. 

Coming as I do from an Indian family, allied to many still in 
the service, it ill becomes me to criticize ; but I have tried to be 
honest in my journals, even at the risk of giving offence, and so 
now I cannot forbear pointing out what I consider to be the faults 
of our rule in India. 

And in truth I have but little fault to find. If anything, we 



346 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



are a little too English. We are a nation without poetry. We 
are apt to be guided by the hard and fast line of the law, and are 
devoid of sentiment or enthusiasm. Now, the Indian, like the 
Irishman, is full of poetry and imagination, and so, like the Irish- 
man, we have conquered his respect, but, I fear, never tried to 
gain his love. We have never flattered him with the gorgeous 
pageant of sovereignty, as did the great Mogul. Hardly can he 
suppose that he forms a part of that Government which he sees 
so firmly carried out by our iron hands. He is dazzled by dis- 
play, and cannot yet understand the hard reasoning of figures, 
which prove that India, so gorgeous in the past, is a very poor 
country. In matters of religion we maintain the same dry neu- 
trality. The Government aid neither the Hindoo nor the Moslem 
communities ; nor do they publicly befriend the Christian. 
All this to the native is incomprehensible. To him a tyranny 
is familiar. To crawl on all-fours to the throne would be no 
disgrace ; to be degraded or raised to power at the caprice of 
his Sovereign would give scope for his ambition and talent for 
intrigue ; but to be told to stand up and be a man, and yet not 
to have the same position as the sahib ; to be taught that before 
the law all men are equal, and yet not to be allowed his portion 
in the Government of the country, — such is the position we have 
taken, and I fear it is hardly logical. I do not say that the 
native is yet fit to govern. Those few natives who have passed in 
the Civil Service competition — and it is greatly to their credit to 
have done so — have, I fear, not proved as yet brilliant successes. 
Yet if we open the door, we should open it wide. It does not do 
to show the bright inside, and then shut the portal. It does not 
do to preserve too strictly the pride of the conquering race, and 
yet to preach liberality of sentiment. 

It was not thus that the early rulers of the country consolidated 
their power. They mixed more freely with the natives, they 
showed more sympathy with their prejudices, and strove more to 
understand their characters, at the same time treating them more 
as their own rulers would treat them in matters of etiquette. I 
would not advocate the return of the lax morality of our old 



L\fPRESSIONS. 



347 



services,* but I would have more interchange of sociaHty between 
the two races. I would have the Englishman unbend somewhat 
towards the native, and be inclined to make more allowance for 
his prejudices, which are the inheritance of ages ; in fact, not 
expect a native to be an Englishman. 

And I am emboldened to speak in this manner, because I fear 
that each day we are becoming more English in India. Each 
year communication becomes more easy between England and 
her great empire in the East. Each year greater facility is 
offered to the English official to visit his native land, and so that 
official becomes more and more a camper and sojourner in India. 
With his eyes constantly fixed on England, he does not identify 
himself with the people and the country, with which he has little 
sympathy, and is apt to regulate his conduct by the opinions of 
his fellow-countrymen, rather than by the interests of the empire 
he is called upon to govern. Frequently, too, I fancy, India is 
sacrificed to the exigencies of the home Government, for those 
who direct our home policy have no idea of the many wants of the 
native, whose character they have never studied. I think I am 
only saying what every Indian officer would endorse, and that it 
is impossible for India to be well governed from Downing Street. 

Meanwhile, I cannot but observe that much has already been 
done towards breaking down the barriers which separate the 
Hindoo from European civilization. Gradually caste and caste 
prejudice must disappear before those great levellers, the railway 
and the telegraph. But let us not break down such prejudices 
before we have given something to supply their place. Let us 
give the necessary time for the change we expect. The native is 
of an imitative nature; and to put on a mere veneering of civiliza- 
tion will be to him an easy matter. Let us remember that such 
a cleaning of the outside of the platter, such a conforming to the 
outward observances of society, is not sufficient. That there are 
many good and loyal native gentlemen in India I have no doubt, 

* 1 have heard old officers assert that in the old time the Mutiny would 
have been impossible ; that full intelligence of the revolt would surely have 
come to the authorities through their connection with the bazaars ! 



348 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



but I do doubt their being amongst those who seek the approba- 
tion of the EngHsh by outward observance and time-serving. 

I have been frequently asked since the Afghan troubles have 
come upon us my opinion of the native army. I can speak best 
of the Punjabees, as it is that portion of our force that I had most 
leisure to observe."^ Of these I can affirm that I rarely have seen 
a finer body of men, and I am also sure that they are true to their 
" salt." I had an opportunity of seeing and speaking with many 
of their officers, both native and English. I believe that the 
spirit of chivalry, such as I have described in my extracts from 
the history of the Rajpoots, exists in many of the frontier regi- 
ments. I have heard authentic accounts of their exploits. "When 
a body of frontier cavalry of my regiment," said an English ofncer 
of cavalry to me, " had to charge a lot of Afredees the other day, 
their native officer (a Sikh) suddenly let down his long hairf and 
cried, * Let us show the sahibs that we are worthy of their salt ! ' 
His men did the like, and, headed by their rassaldar, delivered 
a brilliant charge." If such men are well led, they are capable 
of anything ; and I am confident that, as a rule, their officers are 
dashing and efficient soldiers, in whom the men can trust. 

And in this Afghan business the good wishes of every inhabi- 
tant of Hindostan will be on our side against the hated Afghans. 
Many a time have these mountaineers, since the reign of the ter- 
rible Mahmoud of Ghuznee, invaded the rich plains of India, 
carrying desolation and famine with them. The Mohammedan 
cannot have forgotten the sacking of Delhi by Nadir Shah, 
whose army, though nominally Persians, consisted principally of 
Afghans and nomads from Central Asia. The Marathas yet 
remember their defeat at Paniput by Ahmed Shah Abdallee, 
and Sindia himself would not be slow to avenge the death of 
the head of his family and the laming of the celebrated Madaji 

* As a rule Indian regiments have a higher average standard of height 
than the regiments that come from England ; the men do not, however, 
weigh so much. The Goorka regiments are an exception ; they are composed 
of short, wiry, active mountaineers. 

t When a Sikh lets down his hair, it is a sign that he intends to conquer 
or die. 



IMPRESSIOAS. 



349 



Rao Sindia at that disastrous battle. When Tukaji Rao Holkar 
wished to make a truce on a subsequent occasion with Nujeeb-ud- 
Dowlah, to whose bravery the victory of Paniput was due, Madaji 
Rao said, — 

" I demand for the Peishwa the country possessed by this chief 
and the Afghans. I demand for myself the blood of my brother, 
of my two nephews, and my own leg, of which I am deprived." 

" He used frequently," says Sir John Malcolm, in his "Central 
India," " to recount the particulars of this event. He fled from 
the field, but was pursued to a great distance by an Afghan. 
His fine Deccany mare carried him a great way ahead of the 
strong animal upon which the soldier who had marked him for 
prey was mounted ; but whenever he rested for an interval, how- 
ever short, his enemy appeared keeping the same pace. At last 
his fatigued mare fell into a ditch. He was taken, spit upon, 
and left. He used to say that the circumstance had made so 
strong an impression upon his imagination that he could not for 
a long time sleep without seeing the Afghan and his clumsy 
charger pacing after him and his fine Decanny mare." 

Does Sindia ever think of this ? 

But our army in India and the discipline of our regiments are 
kept up entirely by our prestige, and if this should suffer in any 
way our troops would at once become demoralized. It is neces- 
sary for us to take every precaution against any disaster, or even 
the rumour of a disaster. Bazaar gossip in India supplies the 
place of public opinion ; and a story flies through the country 
in an incredibly short space of time. Like the social game of 
German gossip, the tale with an original tittle of truth gets dis- 
torted into a monstrosity. I have alluded before to the pro- 
phecy of the duration of the Raj of the East India Company^ 
I have been assured that a belief in that prophecy had much to 
do with the Mutiny."^ Our reputation should, like that of Caesar's 
wife, be above suspicion. 

* See Meadows Taylor's "Life." It is curious that the transfer of the 
Government of India from the East India Company to the Queen should 
have carried out this prophecy ! 



350 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



We have, then, a noble reputation to keep up. We have an 
inheritance of which we may well be proud. But such an inhe- 
ritance has its duties as well as its advantages. By valour we 
acquired, by justice we have consolidated, our empire. Let us 
never, through the necessities of the Home Government, forget 
our position. Let us never, for the sake of a cry, show the weakness 
or vacillation, sometimes the apparent result of our representa- 
tive system, lest perchance the native — not understanding our 
real strength, and seeing only our apparent weakness — should 
think with Sir Josiah Child, " that the House of Commons 
hardly know how to make laws for the good government of their 
own private families, much less for the regulating of foreign 
affairs or commerce ! "* 

In conclusion, let me say a few words about my impressions 
as an artist. As a field for artists, India has been of late years 
sadly neglected. While the more fortunate countries of the 
East — Turkey, Syria, Egypt, and Arabia — have been frequently 
depicted, India has remained almost unknown to the painter. 
Zoffany and Daniel, both Royal Academicians, in the old time, 
when the voyage alone to India was an affair of six months or 
more, thought it worth their while to visit the unknown land of 
Hind. Now in six months much of India may be seen, and yet 
since the time of these two artists no painter of notef has thought 
it worth his while to convey to his countrymen an impression of 
our Eastern empire. The only figure painter of eminence who 
has visited India for the last eighty years has been a Russian, 
M. Verestchagine. Ought not we painters to be rather ashamed 
of this ? Yet India, I can assure my brother painters, is an in- 
exhaustible field for artistic energy. It is unlike anything else 
ever painted. It outdoes in originality the weirdest fancies of 
Fortuny, Gerome, or Decamps, for it presents not only the most 
original combinations of colour and form at every turn, but 
abounds in romantic tradition. I have striven to record some of 

* See ante page 17. 

t I must except one or two water-colour painters, who were only landscape 
sketchers. 



IMPRESSIONS. 



these, and if I have succeeded in exciting the imagination of 
any of my brother labourers in the arts — if I can induce any of 
them to follow in my footsteps, and visit the scenes I have feebly 
described — I shall be rewarded for many a toilsome journey, in 
heat and discomfort, through the length and breadth of Imperial 
India. 



APPENDIX. 



I. 

I CANNOT refrain from printing in the Appendix of my book 
the following ballad written by my father, which is taken from 
a legend of Sirmoor. The Giri is a river flowing a few miles 
from Simla. 

THE NUTNEE.* 

A LEGEND OF SIMLA. 
I. 

In the mountains of Sirmoor spreads far and wide 

The domain of a Rajah dread, 
And his palace is built on a mountain's side, 
Where the Giri rushes with furious tide 

Deep in its rocky bed. 

n. 

On a jutting rock's summit, the palace wall 

Stands at a dizzy height ; 
And a stone from the topmost tower of all 
Into the Girl's deep bed would fall 

In one unbroken flight. 

in. 

On that tower's high terrace the Rajah sits, 

And the wine they freely pour, 
And the voices of mirth and the laughter-fits, 
As the Rajah drinks with his favourites, 

Mix with the torrent's roar. 

* NuTNEE,— The Nuts are the gipsies of India, living by jugglers' tricks and feats, to which they 
train children from youth. Nutnee is the feminine of Nut. 



353 



23 



354 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



IV. 

" Where lingers my Nutnee concubine ? 
My queen of the dance and song ? 
Bid her come hither to share our wine, 
Her merry black eye and her voice divine 
Shall the joy of this revel prolong." 

V. 

The Rajah a cup to her health hath quaffed, 
And called her to sit by his side. 
" Now tell us, while draining this goblet's draught, 
How cams't thou to learn the tricks of thy craft, 
And the feats of thy people the pride ? " 

VI. 

" My training at three years old began, 

I learned then the balance true ; 
From little to great things my lessons ran, 
Till there 's not a feat performed by man 

That I have not learned to do. 

VII. 

" Amid sharp swords I can dance blindfold, 

Stringing of eggs a crown : 
So true is my balance, so firm my hold, 
I can swing on a bamboo, and walk quite bold 

On a tight rope, up or down." 

VIII. 

" I have seen thee walk on a rope stretched tight ; 

But thy courage now prove to me. 
We will stretch a rope over to yonder height, 
And there thou shalt walk like an angel bright. 

For my people below to see." 

TX. 

" 'T is a dizzy height of two thousand feet, 
And the torrent that roars below 
Sustains not the spirit like music sweet : 
Sure never hath mortal performed like feat. 
The guerdon I first would know." 



APPENDIX. 



X. 

" For guerdon thou shalt not my humour mock ; 
A bond I will seal and sign, 
That if thou walk over from tower to rock, 
Bearing thy infant child on thy back, 
One-half of my kingdom is thine." 

XI. 

" Shall the child of my heart then a Rajah be, 
And a powerful lord among men ? 
Then stretch the rope over, and thou shalt see 
What a mother will do in her bravery, 
That meed for her child to win." 

XII. 

An arrow is shot from a strong hill bow 

Bearing a silken thread : 
Then thicker and thicker the cords they throw. 
Till over the chasm that gapes below 

The perilous bridge is spread. 

XIII. 

She hath girded her loins, she hath strapped the child, 

It will motionless lie in sleep. 
" Salaam to thee. Rajah," she said, and smiled ; 
Then sank on her knees, and in accents wild 

Thus prayed o'er the terrible deep : 

XIV. 

" Great God of my fathers, great God of my race. 
Life, honour, and all are Thine ; 
'T is Thou givest glory, or death and disgrace ; 
Oh ! be it Thy will, I Thy people should raise, 
And found here a royal line." 

XV. 

In hand she hath taken the balancing-pole, 

And steps on the perilous bridge : 
Firm forward she goes, for high hope fills her soul. 
She walks in mid-air — Hureebdl ! Hureebol ■ 

With her eye on the opposite ridge. 

* Hurekb6l,— The usual exclamation of great wonder ; an invocation to Huree or Krishna. 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



XVI. 

" Back, back ! " cries the Rajah, " and tempt not fate ; 

I wished but thy courage to try." 
Still forward she walks, — the recall is too late ; 
So steady her step, so unflinching her gait, 

All danger she seems to defy. 

XVII. 

Half-way she hath reached, and still safely moves 

Mark the sweat on the Rajah's brow, — 
Already he deems half his kingdom gone. 
And his eye falls by chance on his Jobraj * son ; 

And where is the remedy now ? 

XVIII. 

A Nutnee will take his inheritance, 

Thus staked in a foolish whim, 
And the curse of his caste, of Rajpoot Chohans, 
The curse of the children born of his loins, 

Will lie for ever on him. 

XIX. 

A thought diabolical seizes his brain : 

He clenches his dagger-hilt hard ; 
He looks at the Nutnee girl once again. 
To the rock but a dozen short steps remain ; — 

He severs the tightening cord ! 

XX. 

Ah ! heard you that shrill supernatural cry. 

And heard you the wail from below ? 
Down, down like a meteor shot from the sky. 
Or angel rebellious hurled from on high, 

Down, deep where the waters flow, 

XXI. 

They have fallen, the mother and innocent child. 

And are lost in the Giri's flood 
But the cord on the rock- side, fresh cut and uncoiled. 
Damning evidence, shows how the bold feat was spoiled 

And on whom lies the gilt of blood. 

* Jobraj. — A rajah's heir-apparent is so called. 



APPENDIX. 



XXII. 

The curse of all good men lies heavy on him, 

Cain-marked — void of honour and truth. 
Alas ! one so perfect of feature and limb, 
So courageous, to be, by a damnable crime, 
Cut off in the flower of youth ! 

XXIII. 

Can that Rajah sleep now in his palace bed, 

And list to the Giri's roar ? 
Hath his soul no remorse, and his conscience no dread 
Of the power on earth of the murdered dead, 

Of the gods who watch over Sirmoor ? 

XXIV 

Oh, honour, lost honour ! how can he forget 

That shriek of unearthly sound ? 
For aye is the sun of his destiny set : 
Unnerved now for action his realm is beset 

By enemies gathering round. 

XXV. 

A battle is lost, and the Rajah hath fled 

To his refuge, the rock-built tower : 
'T is the day of the year when the Nutnee fell dead, 
And the heavens look wild, and the sun sets red, 

And storm-freighted clouds dark lower. 

XXVI. 

A tempest is raging the whole night long, 

And frequent the lightnings flash. 
And loud rolls the thunder the mountains among : 
One flash ! then a thunder-clap, sudden and strong ! 

Hark ! hark to the following crash ! 

XXVII. 

Dark with rain is the night, all is silent now 

Save the Giri's more angry roar : 
Men listen and whisper who live far below : 
Some dread thing hath happened, yet none may know. 
Till morning, the fate of Sirmoor. 



358 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



XXVIII. 

Men look for the palace that frowned o'er the town, 

They look for that guilty tower. 
All into the Giri have crumbled down, 
The Rajah and all his household have gone 

Where his victims went before. 

XXIX. 

Some said that a thunderbolt shivered the rock. 

From heaven in anger sent ; 
Some said they had felt a earthquake-shock. 
That the spirits below did the earth unlock, 

And dragged him to punishment. 

XXX. 

Not heaven nor hell, but the Nuts did this, — 

Their vengeance strikes ever true : 
*Mong Nuts ever sacred their secret is. 
This was one of the wonderful mysteries] 

Of arts which they only knew. 



II. 

The letter from Rana Raj Sing, of Mewar, to the Emperor 
Aurungzebe, is so remarkable an instance of the feeling of tolera- 
tion among Hindoos, that, though it is quoted by me before, I 
venture to insert it here in extenso. Recollect, it is the temporal 
head of the Hindoos who thus writes on the imposition of a 
most intolerable tax on all that he held most sacred : 

"All due praise be rendered to the glory of the Almighty, and the munifi- 
cence of your Majesty, which is conspicuous as the sun and moon. Although 
I, your well-wisher, have separated myself from your sublime presence, I am 
nevertheless zealous in the performance of every bounden act of obedience 
and loyalty. My ardent wishes and strenuous services are employed to pro- 
mote the prosperity of the kings, nobles, mirzas, rajahs, and rojs of the pro- 
vinces of Hindostan, and the chiefs of -(Eraun, Turaun, Room, and Shawm ; 
the inhabitants of the seven climates, and all persons travelling by land and 
by water. This my inclination is notorious, nor can your Royal wisdom 
entertain a doubt thereof. Reflecting, therefore, on my former services and 



APPENDIX. 



359 



your Majesty's condescension, I presume to solicit the Royal attention to 
some circumstances in which the public as well as private welfare is greatly 
interested. 

"I have been informed that enormous sums have been dissipated in the 
prosecution of the designs formed against me, your well-wisher, and that you 
have ordered a tribute to be levied, to satisfy exigencies of your exhausted 
treasury. 

"May it please your Majesty, your Royal ancestor Mohamed Jelal-oo-Deen 
Akbar, whose throne is now in heaven, conducted the affairs of this empire 
in equity and firm security for the space of fifty-two years, preserving every 
tribe of men in ease and happiness, whether they were followers of Jesus or 
of Moses, of David or Mohammed ; were they Brahmins, were they of the sect 
Dharians, which denies the eternity of matter, or of that which ascribes the 
existence of the world to chance, — they all equally enjoyed his countenance 
and favour, insomuch that his people, in gratitude for the indiscriminate pro- 
tection he afforded them, distinguished him by the appellation, 'Juggut 
Gooroo ' (Guardian of Mankind). 

" His Majesty Mohamed Noor-oo-Deen Jehanghir likewise, whose dwelling 
is now in Paradise, extended, for a period of twenty-two years, the shadow of 
his protection over the heads of his people, successful, by a constant fidelity 
to his allies, and a vigorous exertion of his arm in business. 

" Nor less did the illustrious Shah Jehan, by a propitious reign of thirty-two 
years, acquire to himself immortal reputation, the glorious reward of clemency 
and virtue. 

" Such were the benevolent inclinations of your ancestors. Whilst they pur- 
sued their great and generous principles wheresoever they directed their steps, 
conquest and prosperity went before them ; and then they reduced many 
countries and fortresses to their obedience. During your Majesty's reign 
many have been alienated from the empire, and further loss of territory must 
necessarily follow, since devastation and rapine now universally prevail with- 
out restraint. Your subjects are trampled underfoot, and every province of 
your empire is impoverished ; depopulation spreads, and difficulties accu- 
mulate ; and when indigence has reached the habitation of the Sovereign and 
his princes, what can be the condition of the nobles ? As to the soldiery, 
they are in murmurs, the merchants complaining, the Mohammedans dis- 
contented, the Hindoos destitute, and multitudes of people, wretched even to 
the want of their nightly meal, are beating their heads throughout the day in 
rage and desperation. 

"How can the dignity of the Sovereign be preserved, who employs his power 
in exacting heavy tributes from a people thus miserably reduced ? At this 
juncture it is told from east to west, that the Emperor of Hindostan, jealous 
of the poor Hindoo devotees, will exact a tribute from Brahmins, Sanorahs, 
Joghies, Berawghies, Sanyasees ; that, regardless of the illustrious honour of 
his Timurian race, he condescends to exercise his power over the solitary in- 
offensive anchorites ! If your Majesty places any faith in those books, by 
distinction called divine, you will there be instructed that God is the God of 



36o 



IMPERIAL INDIA. 



all mankind, not the God of Mohammedans alone. Pagans and Moham- 
medans are equal in His presence, distinction of colour are of His ordination. 
It is He who gives existence. In your temples to His name the voice is raised 
in prayer ; in the House of Images, where the bell is shaken, still He is the 
object of adoration : to vilify the religion or customs of other men is to set at 
naught the pleasure of the Almighty ; when we deface the picture, we natu- 
rally incur the resentment of the painter ; and justly has the poet said, ^ Pre- 
sume not to arraign or scrutinize the various works of Power Divine.' 

"In fine, the tribute you demand from the Hindoos is repugnant to justice; 
it is equally foreign from good policy, as it must impoverish the country. 
Moreover, it is an innovation and an infringement of the laws of Hindostan. 
But if zeal for your own religion hath induced you to determine upon this 
measure, the demand ought, by the rules of equity, to have been made first 
upon Ram Sing, who is esteemed the principal among the Hindoos. Then 
let your well-wisher be called upon, with whom you will have less difficulty 
to encounter; but to torment ants and flies is unworthy of an heroic or 
generous mind. It is wonderful that the Ministers of your Government should 
have neglected to instruct your Majesty in the rule of rectitude and honour." 



II, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, W.C. 
{Late 193, Piccadilly, W.) 

June, 1884. 



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MR. DICKENS'S READINGS. 
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IS. 

CRICKET ON THE HEARTH, is. 
CHIMES : A GOBLIN STORY, is. 



STORY OF LITTLE DOMBEY. is. 
POOR TRAVELLER, BOOTS AT 

THE HOLLY-TREE INN, and 

MRS. GAMP. IS. 



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being a reprint of the Original Edition. Small 8vo, red cloth, gilt edges, 5s. 



24 



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CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENG- 
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EDWIN DROOD and MISCEL- 
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A CHRISTMAS CAROL and THE 
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25 



List of Books, Drawing Examples, Diagrams, lUodels, 
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INCLUDING 

THOSE ISSUED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE SCIENCE 
AND ART DEPARTiMENT, SOUTH KENSINGTON, FOR THE 
USE OF SCHOOLS AND ART AND SCIENCE CLASSES. 



CATALOGUE OF MODERN WORKS ON SCIENCE 

AND TECHNOLOGY. 8vo, sewed, is. 
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PRINCIPLES OF THE SCIENCE OF COLOUR. 

Small 4to, cloth, 15s. 

MANUAL OF THE SCIENCE OF COLOUR. Coloured 

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sewed, sd. 
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8vo, 3s. 

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26 



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JE WITT- 
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Book I. Simple Geometrical Forms, 6d. 
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27 



POYNTER {E. 7.). R. A. —Continued. 

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,, III. Italian Renaissance, is. 

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THE SOUTH KENSINGTON DRAWING CARDS, 

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REDGRA VE— 

MANUAL AND CATECHISM ON COLOUR. Fifth 

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folio, sewed, 8s. 
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WORNUM {R. N. )— 

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Book I. Letters, 8d. Book IV. Objects, 8d. 

,, II. Ditto, 8d. ,, V. Leaves, 8d. 

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\* Or in Sets of Seven Books, 4s. 6d. 

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TARSIA, from Gruner, Four Plates, mounted, 3s. 6d., unmounted, yd. 

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OUTLINE DRAWINGS OF FLOWERS, Eight Plates, mounted, 3s. 6d. 
unmounted, 8d. 

COPIES FOR SHADED DRAWING: 

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ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES. By J. B. Tripon. 10 Plates, £t. 

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FOLIATED SCROLL FROM THE VATICAN, unmounted, sd.; mounted, is. 3d. 

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COTMAN'S PENCIL LANDSCAPES (set of 9), mounted, 15s. 

„ SEPIA DRAWINGS (set of 5), mounted, £t. 

ALLONGE'S LANDSCAPES IN CHARCOAL (Six), at 4s. each, or the set, ;^i 4s. 

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A Stand with a universal joint, to shov/ the solid n'cdels, &c., ;^i i8s. 
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One Hexagonal Prism. £0. 2s, 
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Celadon Jar, ViBs. 6d. 
Bottle, j 
*Five selected Vases in Majolica Ware, £2 iis. 
*Three selected Vases In Earthenware, i8s. 

Imperial Deal Frames, glazed, without sunk rings, los. each. 
^Davidson's Smaller Solid Models, in Box, £1, containing — 

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9 Oblong Blocks (steps). Cylinder. Pyramid, Equilateral. 

2 Cubes. Cone. Pyramid, Isosceles. 

Square Blocks. Jointed Cross. Square Block. 



* Models, &c., entered as sets, can only be supplied in sets. 



CHAPMAN 6- HALL, LIMITED. 



29 



SOLID MODELS, ^c— Continued. 



* Davidson's Advanced Drawing Models, — The following is a brief description 
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the semi-sphere, when placed on the cylinder, gives the form and principles of 
.shading a dome, whilst one of the quarters placed on half the cylinder forms a 
niche. 

^Davidson's Apparatus for Teaching Practical Geometry (22 models), ;^5. 

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applied to Mechanical Drawing, in box, £,t. ios. 

Miller's Class Drawing Models.— These Models are particularly adapted for teaching 
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Models in any position. Wood Models: Square Prism, 12 inches side, 18 inches 
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Cylinder, 13 inches diameter, \6 inches high ; Hexagon Pyramid, 14 inches 
diameter, 22^ inches side ; Square Pyramid, 14 inches side, 22% inches side ; 
Cone, 13 inches diameter, 22^ inches side ; Skeleton Cube, 19 inches solid wood 
1 5^ inch square ; Intersecting Circles, 19 inches solid wood 2^ by inches. 
\Vi7-e Models : Triangular Prism. 17 inches side, 22 inches high ; Square Prism, 
14 inches side, 2c inches high ; Hexagonal Prism, 16 inches diameter, 21 inches 
high ; Cylinder, 14 inches diameter, 21 inches high ; Hexagon Pyramid, 18 inches 
diameter, 24 inches higli ; Square Pyramid, 17 inches side, 24 inches high ; Cone, 
17 inches side, 24 inches high ; Skeleton Cube, 19 inches side; Intersecting Circles, 
19 inches side ; Plain Circle, 19 inches side ; Plain Square, 19 inches side. Table, 
27 inches by 21^ inches. Stand. The set complete, £14, 13s. 

Vulcanite Set Square, 5s. 

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NINE SHEETS. Illustrating a Practical Method of Teaching Botany. By Professor 
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ASTRONOMICAL : 



BOTANICAL : 



CLASS. 



DIVISION. 



SECTION. 



DIAGRAM. 



Dicotyledon 




4 

5 
6 
7 
8 
9 



Monocotyledons 




* Models, &c., entered as sets, can only be supplied in sets. 



30 



BOOKS PUBLISHED BY 



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LAXTON'S EXAMPLES OF BUILDING CONSTRUCTION IN TWO 

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BUSBRIDGE'S DRAWINGS OF BUILDING CONSTRUCTION. 11 Sheets. 

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DIAGRAM OF BRITISH STRATA. By H. W. Bristow, F.R.S., F.G.S. 
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DIAGRAMS OF THE MECHANICAL POWERS, AND THEIR 
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8 Diagrams, highly coloured on stout paper, 3 feet 6 inches by 2 
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DIAGRAMS OF THE STEAM-ENGINE. By Professor Goodeve 
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Sets of 41 Diagrams (52^ Sheets), £(> 6s. ; varnished and 
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7. THE BRAIN AND NERVES.-THE ORGANS OF THE VOICE. 

8. THE ORGANS OF THE SENSES. 

9. THE ORGANS OF THE SENSES. 

10, THE MICROSCOPIC STRUCTURE OF THE TEXTURES AND ORGANS. 
IT. THE MICROSCOPIC STRUCTURE OF THE TEXTURES AND ORGANS. 



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THE SKELETON, Front View. 
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THE MUSCLES, Side View. 
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PHYSIOLOGY AND ANATOMY OF THE HONEY BEE. 

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CHAPMAN 6- HALL, LIMITED. 



31 



By GEORGES PERROT and CHARLES CHIPIEZ. 

Translated by Walter Armstrong, B.A., Oxon. With 452 Illustrations. 
2 vols, royal 8vo, ^2 2s. 



" It is profusely illustrated, not merely with representations of the actual remains preserved 
in the British Museum, the Louvre, and elsewhere, but also with ingenious conjectural repre- 
sentations of the principal buildings from which those remains have been taken. To English- 
men familiar with the magnificent collection of Assyrian antiquities preserved in the British 
Museum the volume should be especially welcome. We may further mention that an English 
translation by Mr. Walter Armstrong, with the numerous illustrations of the original, has 
just been published by Messrs. Chapman and Hall." — Times. 

"The only dissatisfaction that we can feel in turning over the two beautiful volumes in 
illustration of Chaldiean and Assyrian Art, by MM. Perrot and Chipiez, is in the reflection, 
that in this, as in so many other publications of a similar scope and nature, it is a foreign name 
that we see on the title page, and a translation only which we can lay to our national credit. 
The predominance of really important works on Archxology which have to be translated for the 
larger reading public of England, and the comparative scarcity of original English works of a 
similar calibre, is a reproach to us which we would fain see removed ... it is most frequently 
to French and German writers that we are indebted for the best light and the most interesting 
criticisms on the arts of antiquity. Mr. Armstrong s translation is very well done. ' — Builder. 

"Thework is a valuable addition to archaeological literature, and the thanks of the whole 
civilised world are due to the authors who have so carefully compiled the history of the arts of two 
peoples, often forgotten, but who were in reality the founders of Western civilisation."— 



By GEORGES PERROT AND CHARLES CHIPIEZ. 

Translated from the French by W. Armstrong. Containing 616 En- 
gravings, drawn after the Original, or from Authentic l3ocuments. 
2 vols, imperial 8vo, £2 2s. 



" The study of Egyptology is one which grows from day to daj', and which has now reached 
such proportions as to demand arrangement and selection almost more than increased collec- 
tion of material. The well-known volumes of MM. Perrot and Chipiez supply this require- 
ment to an extent which had never hitherto been attempted, and which, before the latest 
researches of Mariette and Maspero, would have been impossible. Without waiting for the 
illustrious authors to complete their great undertaking, Mr. W. Armstrong has very properly 
seized their first instalment, and has presented to the English public all that has yet appeared 
of a most useful and fascinating work. To translate such a book, however, is a task that 
needs the revision of a specialist, and this Mr. Armstrong has felt, for he has not sent out his 
version to the world without the sanction of Dr. Birch and Mr. Reginald Stuart Poole. The 
result is in every way satisfactory to his readers. Mr. Armstrong adds, in an appendix, a 
description of that startling discovery which occurred just after the French original of the'se 
volumes left the press — namely, the finding of 38 royal mummies, with their sepulchral furniture, 
in a subterranean chamber at Thebes. It forms a brilliant ending to a work of great value 
and beauty."— Mall Gazette. 

The Saturday Review,^ speaking of the French edition, says : " To say that this magni- 
ficent work is the best history of Egyptian art that we possess, is to state one of the least 
of its titles to the admiration of all lovers of antiquity, Egyptian or other. No previous 

work can be compared with it for method or completeness Not only are the best 

engravings from the older authorities utilised, but numerous unpublished designs have been 
inserted. M. Chipiez has added greatly to the value of a work, in which the trained eye of 
the architect is everywhere visible, by his restorations of various buildings and modes of con- 
struction ; and the engravings in colours of the wall paintings are a noticeable feature in a 
work which is in every way remarkable. This history of Egyptian art is an invaluable 
treasure-house for the student ; and, we may add, there are few more delightful volumes 
for the cultivated idle who live at ease to turn over— every page is full of artistic interest," 



32 BOOKS PUBLISHED BY CHAPMAN HALL, LIMITED. 



THE FORTNIGHTLY REVIEW, 



T 



Edited by T. H. S. ESGOTT. 

HE FORTNIGHTLY REVIEW is published on the ist of 

every month, and a Volume is completed every Six Months. 
The following are among the Conlnbutots : — 



SIR RUTHERFORD ALCOCK. 
MATHEW ARNOLD. 
PROFESSOR BAIN. 
SIR SAMUEL BAKER. 
PROFESSOR BEESLY. 
PAUL BERT. 

BARON GEORGETON BUNSEN. 
DR. BRIDGES. 

HON. GEORGE C. BRODRICK. 
JAMES BRYCE, M.P. 
THOMAS BURT, M.P. 
SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL, M.P. 
THE EARL OF CARNARVON. 
EMILIO CASTELAR. 
RT. HON. J. CHAMBERLAIN, M.P. 
PROFESSOR SIDNEY COLVIN. 
MONTAGUE COOKSON, Q.C. 
L. H. COURTNEY, M.P. 
G. H. DARWIN. 
SIR GEORGE W. DASENT. 
PROFESSOR A. V. DICEY. 
RIGHT HON. H. FAWCETT, M.P. 
EDWARD A. FREEMAN. 
SIR BARTLE FRERE, Bart. 
J. A. FROUDE. 
MRS. GARRET-ANDERSON. 
J. W. L. GLAISHER, F.R.S. 
M. E. GRANT DUFF, M.P. 
THOMAS HARE. 
F. HARRISON. 
LORD HOUGHTON. 
PROFESSOR HUXLEY. 
PROFESSOR R. C. JEBB. 
PROFESSOR JEVONS. 
ANDREW LANG. 
EMILE DE LAVELEYE, 

&c. &c. 



T. E. CLIFFE LESLIE 

SIR JOHN LUBBOCK, M.P. 

THE EARL LYTTON. 

SIR H. S. MAINE. 

DR. MAUDSLEY. 

PROFESSOR MAX MULLER. 

G. OSBORNE MORGAN, Q.C, M.P. 
PROFESSOR HENRY MORLEY. 
WILLIAM -MORRIS. 
PROFESSOR H. N. MOSELEY. 
F. W. H. MYERS. 

F. W. NEWMAN. 

PROFESSOR JOHN NICHOL. 

W. G. PALGRAVE. 

WALTER H. PATER. 

RT. HON. LYON PLAYFAIR, M.P. 

DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI. 

LORD SHERBROOKE. 

HERBERT SPENCER. 

HON. E. L. STANLEY. 

SIR J. FITZJAMES STEPHEN, Q.C. 

LESLIE STEPHEN. 

J. HUTCHISON STIRLING. 

A. C. SWINBURNE. 

DR. VON SYBEL. 

J. A. SYMONDS. 

THE REV. EDWARD F. TALBOT 

(Warden of Keble College). 
SIR RICHARD TEMPLE, Bart. 
W. T. THORNTON. 
HON. LIONEL A. TOLLEMACHE. 

H. D. TRAILL. 
ANTHONY TROLLOPE. 
PROFESSOR TYNDALL. 
A. J. WILSON. 

THE EDITOR. 



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